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IN THE YEAR 1581, 




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C U N" (D I L 


























J. R. PLANCH^, ESQ., F.S.A. 





ivil31906 ^^^--'Googi^ 

The Council of the Shakespeare Society desire it to be understood 
that they are not answerable for any opinions or observations that 
may appear in the Society's publications ; the Editors of the several 
works being alone responsible for the same. 


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It will not be disputed that the present volume con- 
tains a very amusing assemblage of early novels, inde- 
pendently of their claims from intimate connection with 
Shakespeare and other old dramatists. The author, 
Bai^aby Riche, in the " Conclusion " of his work, in- 
forms us that some of the stories had, even then, been 
applied to the purposes of the stage, and we shall pre- 
sently more fully advert to this interesting point. 

How far any of them are original it is not very easy 
to decide. In his address " to the Readers in general," 
Rich states that of the eight " histories" five were " but 
forged only for delight," while the other three were 
written in Italian, by an author whom he designates^ 
by the initials L. B. Hence we might infer that the 
five had been " forged only for delight " by himself, 
if we did not know that some of them were founded 
upon foreign authorities. One of the five, in a manner 
claimed by Riche, which stands second in his volume, 
(and, in our view, of peculiar importance, because it 
was employed by Shakespeare in his " Twelfth Night ") 
is unquestionably, in all its main features, the same as 
in Bandello, who could not be the Italian writer pointed 


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out by Riche as L. B., because his Christian name was 
Matteo. The novel occurs in the second part of Ban- 
dello's collection, where it bears the following argumen- 
tative title: Nicuola, innamorata di Lattantio, vd a 
sermrlo vestita da paggio ; e, dopo molti casi^ seco si 
tnarita : e do che ad ufi stiofratello awenne. It is also 
transplanted into Belleforest's French Collection, where 
it is thus introduced : Comme uneJiUe Romainej se ves- 
tant en page^ servist long temps un sien amy sans estre 
cogneuey et depuis Peust a mart/; avec autres diver's 

It seems more likely that Riche resorted to Ban- 
dello, but it is possible that this novel was one of 
those which had been dramatised before Riche wrote ; 
and if this were the case, it would establish the new 
and important fact, that a play on the same story as 
" Twelfth Night " had been produced before 1581, 

Two Italian comedies upon very similar incidents, one 
called Inganni and the other Jngannati, were certainly 
then in existence, and may have formed the ground- 
work of a drama^ anterior to Shakespeare, in our own 
language. The names given by Riche to the various 
personages are not those which occur in Bandello, 
Belleforest, or the Italian comedies ; neither are they 
the same as any used by Shakespeare. Riche perhaps 
obtained them from the old English drama, the story 
of which he may have reduced to a narrative form, for 
the amusement of readers who were not in the habit of 
visiting theatres. 

However, there can be little doubt that Riche's story- 
book, like Painter's " Palace of Pleasure," printed still 

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earlier, was known to Shakespeare, who without scruple 
availed himself of the literature of his time, whenever he 
could employ it to advantage for the purposes of the 
stage. On the very first page of Riche's " Farewell to 
Military Profession '* we meet with a proof of it, for 
who can read the following without being instantly and 
forcibly reminded of a very notorious passage in the 
earliest scene of Shakespeare's " Richard III/* : — " I see 
now," says Riche, ** it is less painful to follow a fiddle 
in a gentlewoman's chamber, than to march after a drum 
in the field," &c. Other resemblances, not necessary 
here to be pointed out, will strike the reader as he pro- 
ceeds; and on p. 113 of our reprint he will meet with 
a remarkable expression, applied in the same way as by 
our great dramatist in his ** Romeo and Juliet." 

" Twelfth Night" was acted very early in 1 602, having 
probably been written in 1600 or 1601 ; and, as far as 
he derived assistance from Riche's novel, Shakespeare 
must have resorted to thft edition we here reprint, that 
of 1581, which has only lately been brought to light in 
the Bodleian Library. There was a subsequent impres- 
sion in 1 606 ; and if Malone's conjecture, that *^ Twelfth 
Night" was composed in 1607, had not recently been 
entirely disproved,^ that edition would have answered 
Shakespeare's purpose. The tale, containing some prin- 
cipal situations in " Twelfth Night," was given in Ma- 
lone's Shakspeare by Boswell, 8vo., 18S1, from the copy 
of Riche's "Farewell," in 1606^ and more recently in 
vol. ii. of a work entitled " Shakespeare's Library ;" 
but in neither instance was it complete, the whole of 
' See Collier*s Shakespeare, iii., 317. 


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the introductory matter having been omitted — a cir- 
camstance to be regretted, becanse it contains an illns- 
tration of a passage in " Midsummer Night's Dream," 
but not to be wondered at, inasmuch as the perfect 
copy of Riche's " Farewell," in 1581, had not then been 
brought to light. 

It appears that there is an imperfect copy of the date 
of 1581 in the library of C. K. Sharpe, Esq., of Edin- 
burgh; and from it, in 1835, was given the last novel it 
contains, called " Philotus and Emelia," as an appendix 
to the old Scottish comedy of " Philotus," 1603, when 
it was reprinted by Mr. J. Whitefoord Mackenzie, for 
the Bannatyne Club. This is a second drama, which 
may have been founded upon part of the contents of the 
work under consideration ; but whether Riche alluded 
to it as one of the pieces actually on the stage when he 
published his " Farewell," may, we think, be more than 
doubted. It seems to us questionable whether the 
Scottish "Philotus" was eve» acted, or was intended 
by the author, whoever he might be, for representation ; 
and, at all events, we are of opinion that when Riche 
spoke of the subjects of some of his novels, as having 
been already adapted to the purposes of public amuse- 
ment at a theatre, he referred to performances in Lon- 
don, where the Scottish " Philotus " could never have 
been exhibited. In his able preface Mr. Mackenzie 
mentions that " the plot, and indeed the entire story of 
Philotus, are borrowed from Riche ;" but it seems to 
us that the play is older than the novel : however, it is 
needless to enter more fully into the question, because 


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the old copy of " Philotus" in 1608, collated with a 
subsequent edition in 1612, may be said to have been 
rendered accessible, to such as wish to read it, by the 
very careful and beautiful fac-simile made of it in 
Edinburgh. Our notion is that the Scottish " Philotus," 
though not printed until 1608, may at an early date 
have been derived by its author from some authority, to 
which, perhaps, Biche also resorted. 

The incidents in the first novel of the ensuing series 
are very much the same as those of the play, ^^ The 
Weakest goeth to the Wall," which was twice printed, 
first in 1600, and secondly in 1618, the title-page pro- 
fessing that it had been " sundry times played by the 
right honourable Earl of Oxenford, Lord Great Cham- 
berlain of England, his servants." If for " Lord Great 
Chamberlain of England ^* we could read, " Lord High 
Chamberlain of her Majesty," this was the company to 
which Shakespeare belonged, and which, subsequently 
to the accession of James I., changed its style, by pa- 
tent, to that of the King's Servants, or Players. " The 
Weakest goeth to the Wall" would then have had the 
advantage of being represented by the same actors as 
had been engaged in performing the works of our great 
dramatist. Not one of the names of the characters is 
the same as in Riche's novel, the scene of action is 
entirely changed, and an attempt is made to give the 
piece a historical appearance, by the introduction 
of the King of France and various members of his 
court. In the very first scene the King is represented 
as about to embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land 

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and reproaching some of bis peers for interposing 
delay : — 

How long shftll I entreatP how long, my lords, 
Will 70a detain our holy pilgrimaged 
Are not our vows already registered 
Upon the unvalued Sepulchre of Christ P 

The last line affords an instance of the precise mode 
in which Shakespeare uses the word " unyalued " for 
invaluable in *^ Richard III. ;" and some portions of the 
play would hardly be unworthy of his pen. The novel 
of " Sappho, Duke of Mantona/' may also have been 
one of those which Riche tells us existed in a drama- 
tised form when he wrote in 1581, and that older play 
may have served for the foundation of " The Weakest 
goeth to the Wall:" as it appeared in print in 1600, it 
may have been a revival of the more ancient drama, 
with additions and alterations, such as were constantly 
made by our early playwrights, in order to give new 
attractiveness to productions they found in possession 
of the company for which they wrote. Of this practice 
we need give no proofs at this time of day, and after the 
illustration the point has received of late years ; and the 
course taken, in the instance before us, was possibly 
this : — ^when Riche composed his novel, there was a play 
upon the subject in the course of representation, and 
that play, not long before it appeared in print in 1600, 
under the title of "The Weakest goeth to the Wall," 
had received some modernizations and improvements 
which on revival increased its popularity. The names 
of the characters may, or may not, have been continued 
from the older drama, and it seems more likely that 


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Riche changed them in his narratiye, which was made 
up from the drama, in order to afford to his work a 
greater appearance of novelty. 

As " The Weakest goeth to the Wall" is now before 
ns, and as it is intimately connected with the ensuing 
reprint, we may subjoin a few specimens from parts that 
more especially illustrate Riche's story of " Sappho, 
Duke of Mantona/' The following is from a scene in 
which Emmanuel, Duke of Brabant, having discovered 
the clandestine love of the noble foundling Ferdinando 
for his daughter, accuses him of it. 

EmnumueL Sirrah, come hither. Didst thou never hear 
How first I found thee, being but a child, 
Hid in the sedge &gt by a river side, 
As it should seem, of purpose to be lost. 
Being so young, that thou hadst not the sense 
To tell thy name, or of what place thou wast? 

Ferdinando* I have heard your lordship often so report it. 

Emm. Did thy adulterous parents cast thee off, 
As it should seem, ashamed of thy birth, 
And have I made a nursery of my court 
To foster thee, and, grown to what thou art. 
Enrich thee with my favours every where. 
That, from the lothsome mud from whence thou camest, 
Thou art so bold, out of thy buzzard's nest, 
To gaze upon the sun of her perfections? 
Is there no beauty that can please thine eye. 
But the divine and splendent excellence 
Of my beloved, dear Odniia ? 
How dar*6t thou but with trembling and with feahe 
Looke up toward the heaven of her high grace. 
And even astonished with the admiration. 
Let fall the gawdy plumes of thy proud heart? 


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Dare any wretch so vile, and so obecure, 
Attempt the honour of so great a princess ? 
Fer. Hear me, my lord ! 
Odillia, Nay, hear me, princely father ! 
'^ For what you speak to him concerns me most. 
Never did he attempt to wrong mine honour. 
Nor did his tongue e*er utter yet one accent, 
But what a virgin*s ear might safely hear. 
I never saw him exercise himself. 
In any place where I myself was present. 
But with such graceful modest bashfulness 
As well beseemed both his youth and duty, &c 

They contrive for the time to persuade Emmanuel 
that he is mistaken in his suspicions, but in the end the 
pair make their escape, as narrated in Riche's novel. 
Another point of close resemblance occurs where the 
father of Ferdinando (who is called Lodowick in the 
play and Sappho in the novel), in his extreme poverty, 
undertakes to become sexton of a country church : the 
author of the drama has not thought proper to vary 
from this somewhat degrading incident, which perhaps 
was fixed so fast in the popular recollection, that he 
could not venture to make any change. He intro- 
duces a parish priest, called Sir Nicholas, and the fol- 
lowing is a small part of the dialogue between him and 
the hero. Sir Nicholas says. 

Nor do I know any that lacks a servant. 
But this ; the sexton of our church is dead. 
And we do lack an honest painful man. 
Can make a grave and keep our clock in frame. 
And now and then to toll a passing bell. 
If thou art willing so to be employed, 
I can befriend thee. 


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Lodowick Oh ! with all my heart. 
And think me treble happy by the office. 

SirNic, Thy wages is not great, not much above 
Two crowns a quarter, but thy yails will help, &c. 

This occupation is rather unheroical, and many wonld 
have been better pleased that a disguised duke should 
have spumed the base employment, and preferred starva- 
tion: when Lodowick is afterwards discovered, it re- 
minds one a good deal of the scene in Sheridan's mock 
tragedy, and of the exclamation ** Am I a beefeater 
now?" We may here notice, that a good deal of 
absurd comic business is forced into " The Weakest 
goeth to the Wall " in the person of Baraaby Bunch, 
a botcher, who however is now and then amusing, 
and gives some curious hints illustrative of ancient 
manners : among other things he introduces a shred of 
a parody upon the celebrated ballad of John Dory : — 

John Dory bought hun an ambling nag, 

To Paris for to ride-a. 
And happy are they can seeke and find. 

For they* are gone to hide-a. 

Such matter as this is used to lighten the serious 
business of the piece, and from the latter portion we 
will make another quotation. Lodowick, being re- 
stored to rank and power by his victorious sword, Em- 
manuel, Duke of Brabant, makes a charge, before him 
and old Epernoune, against Ferdinando for having 
stolen his daughter Odillia: the second line of what 
follows contains one of Shakespeare's words. 

JSpemoune, Oh ! wherefore stain you virtue and renown 
With such foul terms of ignomy and shame ? 


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Swuuumei. Virtne, my lords! jon gild a rottai stick : 
Yoa spread Mr honoar^s gannent on tbe ground, 
And dignify a loChsome swine with peari. 
This shadow of a seeming gentleman, 
This gloss of piety, deoeiyes your sight : 
He*s nothing so, nor so» bat one, my lords, 
Whom I have fostered in eoort of alms, 
And to reqnite my carefiil indolgenoe 
Hath, Jadas-like, betrayed his master's life. 
And stolen mine only daoghter, to allay 
The sensual fire of his enkindled lust; 
For which let me haye jnstioe and the law. 

Lodowick, You shall haye jnstioe, though I cannot think 
80 fiur a shape hath had so foul a foige. 

Eper. Alack the day, nusfortone should so soon 
Disturb oar friendship was so well began ! 
Come hither, Ferdinand, and tell me tru&, 
If thoa be guilty as &e duke informs ? 

Ferdinando. I not deny, my lord, but I am married 
Unto OdiUia, though unworthy far 
Of such a gracious blessing : yet her lore 
Was forward in the choice as well as mine. 

Emnu See, how he goes about to choake the fact 
With loye and marriage I No, adulterous swain. 
Your hedge-betrothing coyenant shall not serye. 
Where is your sweet companion, where is she ? &c 

Of course the whole matter is settled, when it is 
discovered before the end of the play (which is not 
divided into acts and scenes) that Ferdinando is no 
other than son to Lodowick : this disclosure does not, 
however, occur until the interest and suspense are 
wound up by the introduction of the headsman, who 
is to execute Ferdinando on the spot, as the law then 
stood, for stealing the daughter of a sovereign prince. 
The T)lay ends with the announcement of the return of 


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the King of France from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, 
bat he has not been heard of during the whole progress 
of die plot. As a whole^ ^' The Weakest goeth to the 
Wall" deserves reprinting, and, although anonymous, 
we hope it will not, at the proper time, escape the 
attention of the Shakespeare Society. 

We have little more to say of the ensuing sheets but 
to warn the reader against the misprints of the original 
edition : some of these we have corrected, because they 
were obvious, while others we have allowed to remain, 
because it may, possibly, be a question whether they do 
not contain the true reading : in such cases we have not 
allowed ourselves to take any liberty with the text. On 
page 95 we have two instances of the former kind, where 
in line 20 it is evident from the rhyme that thrall is the 
right word, and not ^' thrast,*' as it is absurdly given in 
the copy of 1581 : in the same way, in line 29, cJiarge 
most be right, and not ^' change," as it is misprinted in 
the old edition. On the other hand, on page 113, 
line 17, we have permitted " stormes and shapes" to 
stand, because it is doubtful whether the author might 
not write it, instead of ^^ formes and shapes,*' which 
seems more to accord with the sense. Other instances 
it is hardly necessary to particularize. 

If Riche translated all these novels, as he professes 
to have done some of them, ke here and there took 
some remarkable licenses; in proof it may only be 
necessary to point out the mention of " Scogan's man '* 
(alluding to the famous English jester of the reign of 
Henry VIII.), and of the custom of introducing the 
devil into plays in England, both of which occur on 



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page SI 8: although that may, perhaps, be considered 
the most original part of the volume, it is indisputable 
that the story there told is only a modification of 
Machiavelli's " Belphegor." The introductory matter 
to the whole is highly amusing and curious, not merely 
where Biche gives an account of the chief dances 
then popular among all classes, but where he speaks 
individually, and by name, of his patron Sir Christopher 
Hatton, and of his style of housekeeping at Holdenby 
in Northamptonshire. These peculiarities give the vo- 
lume an unusual degree of interest. 

Those who wish for a personal account of Bamaby 
Riche, and a notice of his writings, may be referred to 
Mr. P. Cunningham's full and satisfactory Introduction 
to the reprint of our author's " Honesty of this Age" 
for the Percy Society in 1844: we can add nothing 
to it. 

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Riche his Farewell 
to Militarie profession : con- 

teining verie pleasaunt discourses 
fit for a peaceable tyme. 

Gathered together for the onely delight of 

the courteous Gentlewomen bothe 

of England and Irelande, 

For whose onely pleasure thei were collected together. 

And unto whom thei are directed and dedicated 

by Bamabe Biche, Gentleman. 

Malui me divitem esse qua vocari. 

Imprinted at London, by 
Bobart Walley. 


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•• •. ••• • 

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To the right conrteons (rentlewomefl, bothe of Englande 

and Irelande, Barnabe Riche wisheth all thynges 

thei should have appertainyng to their 

honour, estimation, and all other 

their honest delightes. 

Crentlewomen, — I am sure there are many (but especially of 
Boche as beste knowe me) that wil not a little wonder to see 
SQche alteration in me, that havyng spent my yonger daies in 
the warres emongest men, and vowed my self onely unto 
Mara, should now, in my riper yeares, desire to live in peace 
emongst women, and to consecrate my self wholy unto Venus. 
Bat yet the wiser sorte can verie well consider, that the older 
we waze the riper our witte, and the longer we live, the better 
we can conceive of thynges appertainyng to our owne profites, 
though harebrained youth overhaled me for a tyme, that I 
knewe not bale from blisse. Yet wisdome now hath warned 
me, that I weU knowe cheese from chalke : I see now it is 
lesse painfiill to follows a fiddle in a gentlewoman^s chamber, 
then to marche after a drumme in the feeld ; and more sounde 
sleapyng under a silken canapie, cloase by a freend, then under 
a bashe in the open feelde, within a mile of our foe : and 
nothyng so daungerous to be wounded with the luryng looke 
of our beloved mistres, as with the crewell shotte of our hate- 
fidl enemie; the one possest with a pitifiill harte, to helpe 
where she hath hurte ; the other with a deadly hate, to kill 
where thei might save. 

Experience now hath taught me, that to bee of Mars his 
crewe, there is nothyng but paine, travaill, tormoill, disquiet, 



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colde, hunger, thriste, penurie, badde lodging, worse fi&re, 
unquiet slepe, with a ntraber of other calamities that haps I 
knowe not how. And when a souldier hath thus served in 
many a bloudie broile, a flappe with a foxe taile shall bee his 
beste reward, for I see no better recompence that any of theim 
can gette. Now contrary to bee of Venus bande, there is 
pleasure, sporte, joye, solace, mirthe, peace, quiet reste, daintie 
fare, with a thousande other delites, suche as I cannot re- 
hearse ; and a man, havyng served but a reasonable tyme, maie 
sometymes take a taste at his mistres lippes for his better 

But now (gentlewomen) as I have vowed myself to bee at 
your dispositions, so I knowe not how to frame myself to your 
contentations, when I consider with how many commendable 
qualities he ought to bee endued, that should be welcomed 
into your blessed companies. I finde in my self no one manor 
of exercise, that might give me the least hope to win your good 
likinges. As firste for dauncyng, although I like the mea- 
sures verie well, yet 1 could never treade them aright, nor to 
use measure in any thyng that I went aboute, although I 
desired to performe all thynges by line and by leavell, what so 
ever I tooke in hande. Our galliardes are so curious, that 
thei are not for my daunsyng, for thei are so full of trickes 
and toumes, that he whiche hath no more but the plaine sin- 
quepace, is no better accoumpted of then a verie bongler ; and 
for my part thei might assone teache me to make a capri- 
comus, as a capre in the right kinde that it should bee. 

For a jeigge my heeles are too heavie : and these braules 
are so busie, that I love not to beate my braines about thAn. 

A rounde is too giddie a daunce for my diet ; for let the 
dauncers runne about with as muche speede as thei maie, yet 
are thei never a whit the nier to the ende of their course, 
unlesse with often touming thei hap to catch a fall : and so 
thei ende the daunce with shame, that was begonne but in 


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These hornepipes I have hated from my verie youth ; 
and I knowe there are many other that love them as 
well as I. 

Thus you maie perceive that there is no daance but either I 
like not of theim, or thei like not of me, so that I can daunce 
neither. There resteth then, if I could plaie of any instru* 
mente, or that I had any s%ht in songe, whereby I might 
delight your daintie eares (gentlewomen) by sweete plaiyng, or 
fiunyng some pretie dities ; but to the firste my fingers 
would never be brought in frame ; for the seconde, my mouthe 
is so unpleasaunty either to syng or to faigne, as would rather 
breede your loathyng then your liking. 

^^7? J^% ^ I could discourse pleasauntly, to drive away 
the tyme with amourous devises, or that my conceipte would 
serve me, either to propone pretie questions, or to give readie 
aunsweres, with a number of other delightes, too long to be 
rehearsed, there were some comfort that I might bee alowed 
of emongst you. But my capacitie is so grosse, my wittes 
be so blunt, and all my other senses are so dulle, that I am 
sure you would soner condemns me for a dunce, then con- 
firme me for a disciple, fit to whisper at all in a gentle- 
woman''s eare. 

But yet, I truste (gentlewomen) when you shall perceive 
the zeale that I beare to my newe profession, although you 
will not presently admit me to the pulpit, yet you will not 
denaie me to be one of your parishe ; where, if it please you 
but to place me in the bodie of the churche, you shall finde 
my devotion as muche as he that kneles next the chauncell 

And here (gentlewomen) the better to manifest the farther 
regarde of my duetie, I have presented you with a fewe rough 
heawen histories ; yet, I dare undertake, so warely polished, 
that there is nothing let slipp that might breede ofience to 
your modest myndes. 


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I have made bolde to publish theim under your sareoun- 
dites, and I trust it shall nothyng at all offende you. My 
last request is, that at your pleasures you shall peruse theim^ 
and with your favours you will defende them } whiche if I 
male perceive, not to bee misliked of emongest you, my en- 
couragement will bee suche, that I trust, within a verie shorte 
space, you shall see me growe from a yong punie to a suf- 
ficient scholar. 

And thus (gentlewomen) wishyng to you all 

what your selves doe beste like of, 

I humbly take my leave. 

Yours in the waie of honestie, 
Barnabe Biche. 

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To the noble SouldierB, bothe of Englande and Irelande, 
Barnabe Riche wisheth as to hjmself. 

There is an old provefbe (noble souldiours), and thus it 
foloweth : " It is better to be happie then wise 5^ but what it 
is to bee happie how should I discipher, who never in my life 
could yet attaine to any happe at all that was good, and yet 
I have had souldiours lucke and speede as well as the reste of 
my profession. And with wisedome T will not meddle— I 
never came where it grewe; but this I dare boldly affirme 
(and the experience of the present tyme doeth make daiely 
proofe), that wit standes by in a thredbare coate, where folly 
fiometyme sittes in a velvet goune ; and how often is it seen 
that vice shall be advaunced, where vertue is little or naught 
at all regarded : small deserte shall highly bee preferred, where 
well doyng shall goe unrewarded, and flatterie shall be wel- 
comed for a guest of greate accompt, where plaine Tom tell 
troth shall be thrust out of doores by the shoulders : and to 
speake a plaine truthe in deede, doe ye not see pipers, pary- 
sites, fidlers, dauncers, plaiers, jesters, and suche others, better 
esteemed and made of, and greater benevolence used towarde 
them, then to any others that indevour themselves to the 
moste commendable qualities. 

Then, seeyng the abuse of this present age is suche, that 
follies are better esteemed then matters of greater waight, I 
have stept on to the stage amongst the reste, contented to 
plaie a part, and have gathered together this small volume of 
histories, all treatyng (sir reverence of you) of love. 

I remember that in my last booke, intituled '^ The AUarum 
to Englande,^ I promised to take in hande some other thyng. 



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but believe me it was not this that I ment ; for I pretended 
then to have followed on, and where I ended with the decaie 
of marciall discipline, so I ment to have begun againe with 
the disciplines of warre, and with all to have set forthe the 
orders of sondrie battailles, and the manor of skirmiges, with 
many plattes of fortification ; but especially those of the Lowe 
Countries, as Delfte, Delftes Haven, Boterdame, Leiden, the 
Breylle, bothe the hedde and the toune, Gorcoum, Gouldfluce, 
Maaselandefluoe, the Crympe, with diverse others worthie the 
perusyng, for suehe as have not seen them ^ but I see the 
tyme serves not for any suche thyng to be accoumpted of, and 
therefore to fitte the tyme the better, I have putte forthe 

V these lovyng histories, the whiche I did write in Irelande at 
a vacant tyme, before the comyng over of James Fitz Morice : 
wd it pleased me the better to doe it, onely to keep myself 
from idelnesse, and yet thei saie it were better to be idle then 
ill occupied. But I truste I shall please gentlewomen, and 
that is all the gaine that I looke for ; and herein I doe but 
followe the course of the worlde, for many, now adaies, goe 
^boute, by as great devise as male bee, how thei might become 
women theimselves. How many gentlemen shall you see at 
this present daie, that I dare undertake, in the wearying of 
their apparell, in the settyng of their ruffes, and the freselyng 
of their heire, are more new fwgeled and foolishe, then any 
curtisan of Venice. 

And I beseeche you (gentlemen) give me leave to tell you 
a tale, that comes even now in my mynde : the matter is not 
worthe the hearyng, but yet very straunge unto me at the 

i/ It was my fortune, at my last beyng at London, to walke 
through the Strande towardes Westminster, where I mett one 
came ridyng towardes me on a footclothe nagge, apparailed 
in a Frenche ruffe, a Frenche cloake, a Frenche hose, and in 
his hande a greate &nne of feathers, bearying them up (verie 
womanly) against the side of his face. And for that I had 


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neTer seen any man weare them before that daie, I beganne to 
thmke it impossible that there might a manne bee founde so 
foolishe as to make hjm self a scome to the worlde, to weare 
fio womanish a toye ; but rather thought it had been some 
ahamelesse woman, that had disguised herself like a manne in 
our hose, and our cloakes ; for our dublettes, gounes, cappes, 
and hattes, thei had got long agoe. 

But by this tyme he was come some thyng nire me, and I 
might see he had a bearde, whereby I was assured that he 
ishould haye been a manne, whereat I beganne to muse with 
myself, whether his simplicitie were more to be pitied, or his 
foUie more to be laughed at ; for in myne opinion, it is as 
fonde a sight to see a manne with suche a bable in his hande, 
as to see a woman ride through the streate with a launoe 
in hers. 

And as he passed by me, I sawe three foUowyng that were 
Jiis menne, and taking the hindermoste by the arme, I asked 
hym what gentlewoman his maister was i but the fellowe, not 
ynderstandyng my meanyng, told me his master''^ name, and 
Bo departed. 

I beganne then to muse with myself, to what ende that 
fanne of feathers served, for it could not bee to defende the 
Bunne from the bumying of his beautie, for it was in the 
beginnyng of Februarie, when the heate of the sunne maie 
bee yerie well indured. 

Now if it were to defende the winde, or the coldnesse of the 
aire, my thinke a Frenche hoode had been a great deale better, 
for that had been both gentlewoman like, and beying close 
pinde doune aboute his eares, would haye kepte his hedde a 
greate deale warmer ; and then, a Frenche hoode on his hedde, 
a Frenche ruffe aboute his necke, a Frenche cloake on his 
backe, and a paire of Frenche hose on his legges had been 
right — ^a la mode de Fraunce : and this had bin somethyng 
sutable to his witte. 

But I thinke he did it rather to please gentlewomen, and 


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the better to shewe what honor he bttre theim, would weare 
one of the greatest Tanities that long to their sexe. And to 
this ende (gentlemen) I have tolde yon my tale, that you 
might perceive the sandrie meanes we nae, and all to [dease 
women. I see it is the pathe that all desire to pace, and 
sore I would wishe my ftendes to tread the same trace ; for 
what is he that is wise, which desires to be a souldiour! 
Mars, his court, is fiill of bale, Venus is fhlle of blisse. And 
my good componions and fellowe souldiours, if you will foUowe 
myne advise, hue aside your weapons, hang up your armours 
by the walles, and leame an other while (for your better ad- 
vauncementes) to pipe, to feddle, to syng, to daunce, to lye, 
to forge, to flatter, to cary tales, to set ruffe, or to doe any 
thyng that your appetites beste serve unto, and that is better 
fittyng for the tyme. This is the onely meane that is best, 
for a man to biyng himself in credite : otherwise I knowe not 
whiche waies a man might bende hymself, either to gett gaine 
or good report* 

For, first, the militarie profession, by meanes whereof 
menne were advaunced to the greatest renowne, is now become 
of so slender estimation, that there is no accompt neither 
made of it, nor any that shall professe it. 
/ To become a courtier, there is as little gaines to be gotten ; 
for liberalitie, who was wont to be a principall officer, as well 
in the court as 4n the country, by whose meanes wel doyng 
could never go unrewarded, is toumed Jacke out to office, 
and others appointed to have the custodie of hym, to hold him 
short, that he range no more abroad, so that no man can 
speake with him; and thei saie the poore gentleman is so 
fleest firom tyme to tyme, by those that bee his keepers, that he 
hath nothing to give that is good but it falls to their shares. 

To become a student in the lawe, there are suche a number 
of theim already, that he thinkes it is not possible that one of 
theim should honestly thrive by an other ; and some will saie, 
that one lawyer, and one goshauke, were enough in one shire. 


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But of my conscience there are more lawyers in some one 
shire in Enghmde, with attomeis, solicitours, or as thei are 
termed brokers of canses^ or pettie foggers, then there are 
goshankes in all Norwaie. 

To become a marchaont, traffiqne is so dead by meanes of 
thes ibraine broiles, that unlesse a man would be a theefe to 
his conntrey, to steale out prohibited wares, there were small 
gaines to be gotten. 

To become a farmer, landes be so racked at suche a rate, 
that a manne should but toyle all the daies of his life to paie 
his landjordes rent. 

But what occupation, or handy craft, might a man then fol- 
lowe to make hymself riche, when every science dependes ^ 
upon new fangled &ahions ! for he that to daie is accompted 
for the finest workman, within one moneth some newe found 
feUowe comes out with some newe found fashion, and then he 
beares the prise, and the first accoumpted but a bungler ; and 
within an other moneth after, the second shall be served with 
the same sauce, and thus there is no artificer that can hold 
his credite long. 

Suche is the miserable condition of this our present tyme, 
this is the course of the worlde, but especially here in Eng- 
laude, where there is no man thought to be wise but he that 
is wealthy ; where no man is thought to speake a truth but 
suche as can lie, flatter, and dissemble; where there is no 
advise allowed for good, but suche as tendeth more for gaine 
then fi>r glorie ; and what pinchyng for a penie, that should 
be spent in our countries defence ! How prodigall for a pound 
to be spent upon vanities and idle devises ! What small re- 
compence to souldiers, that fighte with foes for their countries 
quiet ! How liberall to lawyers, that sette frendes at defi- 
aonce, and disquiete a whole commonwealthe ! What fiiun- 
yng uppon hjm whom fortune doeth advaunce ! What 
frounyng on hym whom she hath brought lowe ! What little 
eare of the poore, and suche as be in want ! What feastyng 


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of the riche, and suche as be wealthy ! What sumptuouB 
houses built by men of meane estate! What little hospi* 
talitie kept from high and lowe degree ! 

And here I can not but speake of the bountie of that noble 
gentleman, Sir Ghristofer Hatton, my verie good maister and 
upholder, who havyng builded a house in Northamptonshire, 
called by the name of Holdenby, whiche house, for the bra- 
verie of the buildynges, for the statelinesse of the chambers, 
for the riche furniture of the lodginges, for the conveighance of 
the offices, and for all other necessaries appertenent to a pallas 
of pleasure, is thought by those that have judgement to be 
incomparable, and to have no fellowe in Englande that is out 
of her Majesties handes : and although this house is not yet 
AiUy finished, and is but a newe erection, yet it differeth farre 
from the workes that are used now adaies in many places^ — I 
meane where the houses are builte with a greate number of 
chimneis, and yet the smoke comes forthe but at one onely 
tunnell. This house is not built on that maner, for as it hath 
sundrie chimneis, so thei cast forthe seyerall smokes; and 
suche worthie porte, and daiely hospitalitie kepte, that al- 
though the owner hymself useth not to come there once in 
twoo yeares, yet I dare undertake there is daiely provision to 
be founde convenient to entertaine any noble manne with his 
whole traine, that should hap to call in of a sodaine. And 
how mai^y gentlemen and straungers that comes but to see the 
house, are there daiely welcomed, feasted, and well lodged ! 
From whence should he come, be he riche, bee he poore, that 
should not there be entertained, if it please hym to call in ! 
To bee short, Holdenby giveth daily relief to suche as bee in 
wante for the space of six or seven miles compasse. 

Peradventure those that be envious will thinke this tale 
nothyng appertinent to the matter that I was in hand with all, 
but I trust my ofience is the lesse, considering I have spoken 
but a truthe, and doe wishe that every other man were able to 
saie as muche for his maister, and so an ende. 


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And now where I lefte of I was tellyng what pride, what 
coyeteousnesse, what whooredome, what glotonie, what blas- 
phemie, what riot, what excesse, what dronkennesse, what 
fiwearyng, what briberie, what extortion, what nsurie, what 
oppression, what deceipte, what forgerie, what vice in gene- 
ral!, is daiely entertained and practized in Englande; and 
although it hath pleased God, by wonderfull signes and mira* 
cles, to forewame ns of his wrathe, and call us to repentaunce, 
yet you see the worlde runneth forewardes, and keepeth his 
wonted course, without any remorse of conscience, neither 
making signe, nor proffer to amende. But like as we see an 
old sore, beyng once over fun, will not be cured with any mo- 
derate medicine, but must be eaten with corosives till it comes 
to the quicke, and like as wee saie, one poison must bee a 
meane to expell an other, so what should wee otherwise 
thinke of our selves, but if wee bee growne to suche extrea- 
tnitie, as no gentill admonition will serve to redaime us, what 
other thyng should we looke for, but a mischief to be the me- 
dicine ! God will not suffer that vice shall alwais florishe— -he 
will sitrely roote it out at the laste ; and how long hath he 
alredy borne with us in our wickednesse ! And what refer- 
mation is there had emongst us, unlesse it be to go from evill 
to worse ! But if we did duely consider how mercifully he 
hath still dealt with us, how favourably he hath preserved us, 
and how wonderfully he hath defended us, I thinke we should 
not be (altogether) so unthankefiill as we shewe our selves to 
bee. For who knoweth not what an eye sore this little ile of 
Englande hath been to the whole worlde, and how long have 
we lived (as it were) in contempt of suche countries as be our 
nexte neighbours, who still enveighyng our quiet and happie 
government, have practized, by as many devises as thei could, 
to bring us into their owne predicament, had it not been the 
onely providence of God that preserved us ! or what freend- 
ship might we yet hope to finde at any of their hands, if their 
oportunitie would serve them to be revenged of the dispite, 


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which long agoe thei had conceived against na ! First, the 
Frenche hath ever been our enemies by nature ; the ScotteB 
by custome ; the Spanyardes for religion ; the Duche, although 
we have stoode them in greate steade, and holpe them at 
many a pinche, yet I could buye as much freendshipp as thei 
doe all owe us for a barrell of Englishe beere. If we should 
goe any further, then wee come to the Pope, the Turke, and 
the deyill, and what frendship thei beare us, I thinke every 
one can imagine. 

And here we might consider how wonderfully God hath 
wrought on our behalfes, and with all humblenesse of harte 
give hym daiely thankeis for his benefites bestowed upon us, 
but moste of all, and especially, for our moste gracious and 
soveraigne ladie Queene Elizabeth, who from tyme to tyme he 
hath so mightily preserved to be the verie instrumente of his 
mercie and lovyng kindnesse towardes us, and for whose sake 
(no doubt) he hath forborne us in his displeasure, as many 
tymes he did the children of Israeli, at the request of his 
servaunt Moyses. 

First, how was she assaulted in her sister^s tyme by those 
ravenyng wolves that daiely sought her death ; for thei all 
stoode in doubt, that she should bee that Judith which should 
cut of proude Holofemes his hedde. And it pleased God to 
bryng it even so to passe, not onely defendyng her from 
their crueltie and rage, but raised her up (in deede) to the 
utter subversion of those bloudie butchers, and to the greate 
comfort of us all that were in bondage, and subject to 

Not onely setting us free from those detestable enormities, 
that so corosived our consciences, but made open waie and 
passage for the worde of God freely to be published (I thinke) 
to our owne destruction, that so unworthely receive it. Uppon 
this, how many mightie enemies protested against her, and 
what harme have any of them been able to doe her ; and how 
many treasons and privie conspiracies (sith that tyme) hath 


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been practised by our peltyng Papistes against ber ; but God 
hath revealed and brought them to light. 

Let us therefore praie unto Ood, that he would so lengthen 
her daies, that we might still enjoye so gracious a princess 
long to goveme and reigne over us ; and that from tyme to 
tyme he would so directe her noble counsaill in all their meet- 
ynges and consultations, as maie redounde to his glorie, to the 
benefite of their country, and to their owne immortall &me. 

Let us likewise praie, that God would roote suche covetous 
hartes out of Englande, that for the sparyng of a penie for the 
present tyme care not to let sUppe suche matter as maie coste 
many a ponnde hereafter this. Now, lastly, and as mariners use 
to syng at the sea, *^ GK>d save my mate, and me also f^ and 
God sende all souldiours that hath honestly served their 
country better consideration then of long tyme they have had. 

And thus, noble souldiours and gentlemen all, I have heeld 
you with a long sermon, neither can I tell how my preachyng 
will bee allowed of. I crave no more, but wishe you all better 
fortune then I knowe the present tyme will afforde you, and 
ao will rest at your disposition. 

Barnabe Bichb. 


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» V To the Readers in geneialL 

I assure %hee (gentle reader) when I first tooke in hande to 
write these discourses, I meante nothyng lesse then to put 
theim in print, but wrote theim at the request of some of my 
dearest firendes, sometymes for their disporte, to serve their 
private use; and now againe, by greate importunitie, I am 
forsed to sonde them al to the printer. The histories (alto* 
gether) are eight in number, whereof the first, the seconde, 
the fift, the seventh and eight, are tales that are but forged 
bnely for delight, neither credible to be beleved, nor hurtful! 
to be perused. The third, the fourth, and the sixt, are Italian 
histories, written likewise for pleasure by Maister L. B. 
And here, gentill reader, I must instauntly intreate thee, that 
if thou findest any wordes or tearmes semyng more undecent 
then, peradventure, thou wilte like o^ thinke that I have set 
them doune as more apropriate to expreese the matter thei 
intreate of, then either for want of judgement or good manors. 
Trustyng that as I have written them in jest, so thou wilt 
read them but to make thy self merie, I wishe thei might as 
well please thee in the reading, as thei displease me in puttyng 
them forthe. 

I bid thee hartely fiirewell. 

Barnabe Bighe. 

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W. I., Gentleman, in praise of the Aactor. 

Who seekea by ladle Fame to reape renoune, 
Must aske consent of worthie vertue'^B grace : 

To her belonges the staulement of the croune. 
She yeeldes all those their just deserved place, 

As tred her path and ranne her royall race : 

Snche riche rewardes to eache she yeeldes eache where. 

As might become this worthie Biche to weare. 

The painfull man that tilles his grounde reapes frute ; 

Eache merrit hath his meede, paine hath his hire : 
Deserte requires that fame should not stande mute, 

Where wisedome doeth to vertues waies aspire. 
The hope of gaine doeth set men'*s hartes on fire : 

Then yeeld hym thankes, that erst hath undertooke 
For thy delight to penne this little booke. 

Let Momus mates chat on in their dispight. 

Let wranglers wreake and wrest the worst thei maie : 

The wisest sorte will judge and take delight, 

Though janglyng jayes, that knowe not what thei saie. 

Will oftentymes their witlesse wittes bewraie : 

Yet Riche shall reape what he by right hath wonne, 

Deserved praise for that whiche here is doen. 

Finis q^ W. I., Gent. 

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Baptiste Starre in praise of the Austhor. 

If due deserte should reape rewarde, 
Or worthie merrit guerdon have, 

Why should not Biche presse forth hjm sel^ 
The lovely laurell croune to crave : 

Whose life in fielde that wonne hym praise. 
He leades at home in Pallas praise. 

Skome not then, Zoyius, his good happe, 
That can his will subdue and tame, 

But trie to treade his path, whereby 
Thou maiest thy life with vertue frame : 

Alowe his paine and penne to wright. 
Who naught pretendes but thy delight. 

Loe ! he who wanted was in fielde. 

To meete his Airious foe in &ce, 
Hath scalde Parnassus hill, where he, 

Attends Minerv' her noble grace : 
And there his penne doth plaie his parte. 

As did els where his shielde and darte. 

Finis (J. B. S. 

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The Printer to the Reader. 

The fragrant Rose can make no choyse, 

Who shall upon hym light ; 
The spraulyng Spider tumes to gaule, 

The Bee to honey right. 

So &res it with this booke, whose leaves 

Are open spred to thee : 
Make choise, good Reader, of the best, 

Sucke honey with the Bee. 

Misconster not eache merrie phraise, 

Deeme not the worst of it, 
Whiche is not pende to doe thee hurte, 

But recreate thy wit. 

And for suche faultes as scaped have 
The presse, whereof thers store, 

Reprove the Printer for his haste, 
Blame not the booke therefore. . 

But as by mirth His meant to move 

Thy minde to some delight. 
Reward his paine with praise, whiche did 

These pleasaunt stories wright. 


c 2 

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Sappho Duke ofMantona ham/ng long tyme served Claudius^ th4 
Eny>eraur^ by wkaae magnanimitie and marHaU pnyweet sun- 
drie victories were achived against the Ttirhe^ teas by false 
imposition banished^ hymsdf Messilina his voife^ Awdanius 
Us sonne^ mth Phylene his daughter^ in tehiche banishment 
thei susteined sundrie conflictes of Fortune^ but in the ende 
restored againe to ih^r former estate and dignitte. 

The one of the greatest Yertuea, that worldlie men can ex- 
preese in the common behaviour of this life, is neither to waxe 
pronde by prosperitie, nor to Ml into dispaire by adversitie ; 
£)r Fortune, havyng a free will to eome and goe, when and 
where she listeth, the wise man ought not to be sorie when he 
loseth her, nor to rejoyce when he holdeth her, for that the 
Tsdiant man looseth no reputation when that Fortune &ileth 
hyro, but is the lesse esteemed of if he want discretion to beare 
her mutabilities, the whiche for the most part is altogether un- 
eertain 5 now promisyng good, now performyng ill ; now Uftyng 
up to the tip of the highest dignitie, now throwing doune to 
the pit of perpetuall infamie ; now advauncing aloft those that 
be unworthie, now throwing doune the climmers up into ex- 
treame adversitie : suche are the giftes and graces of Fortune, 
to have no better thing more certaine in them, then to be for 
the moste parte in all thynges uncertaine ; as the sequell of this 


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historic shall more better describe, and followeth in this 

There was sometymes remainyng in the conrte of the 
Emperor Glawdius, a noble dake, whose name was Sappho 
Duke of Mantona, who, as well through his owne magnani- 
mitie and valiaunce, as otherwise through his greate policie 
and experience in marciall affaires, had atchived many notable 
victories in the behalfe of the Emprour againste the Turke, 
whiche made hym bothe famous to the worlde and feared of his 
enemies, but moste entirely beloved of the Emperour Claudius : 
but the warres beyng once finished and broughte to an ende, 
so thai the empire remained in tranquilitie and peace, souldiors 
were forgotten, captaines were not cared for; suche as had 
profered them selves to fight for the saftie of their countrey, 
were now shaken of, and suche were preferred in their romes 
as had any &cultie in them tendyng to {Measure and delight, 
as dauncers, pipers, fidlers, minstriles, singers, parasites, flat- 
terers, jesters, rimers, tale bearers, newes cariers, love makers, 
suche as can devise to please women with newe fangles, straunge 
fassions, by pndsyng of their beauties, when sometymes it is 
scarce worthie, by commendyng of their manifolde vertues, 
when, God knowes, they have fewe, or none at all. But see, I 
praie you, how ferre my wittes beginne to square: I pre- 
tended but to penne certaine pleasaunt discourses for the 
onely pleasure of gentilwomen, and even at the very first entrie 
I am Mne from a reasonable tale to a railyng rage, as it may 
seeme. But I praie you, gentilwomen, beare with my weake* 
nesse ; and as the preacher in the pulpit, when he is out of bis 
texte, will saie for excuse. Good people, though this bee some- 
thyng degressyng from my matter, yet it maie very well serve 
at this present. Take this, I praie you, for my excuse in like 

And now to my purpose, where I left of before. This noble 
Duke Sappho had no skill in courting trade : his head, which 
had been accustomed to beare the loftie Ixelme, had now quite 


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forgotten to weare the wayeiyng plumee, rea<£e to blowe awate 
with every wmde ; his bodie, moste inenred to weare a coate 
of Steele, could not be brought in ftshion with this queint and 
nice ande ; his necke he thought more fitly to paise the trustie 
targe, then to bee hanged with gemmes, or chaines of golde ; 
his fingers, commonlie practised to graspe the sworde or launce, 
eould not bee brought in &ame to strike the yirginaU or lute ; 
his voice serred hym better to cheare his souldiors in the feeld, 
then either to fayne or syng ditties in a ladies chamber ; his 
tongue had more used to speake simplie and plaine, then to 
dissemble with his freend, or to flatter with his foe ; his legges 
had better skill to marohe after dubbe a dubbe a dubbe, then 
to mince it with a minion, tracyng a pavion, or galliarde uppon 
the rushes. What should I saie, fiither ? this noble duke had 
no maner of skill in carpet trade. But thus it fell out, that 
parasites and flatterers, havyng^ once entered credite with the 
Emperour, (as surely it is almoste a common infirmitie, aswell 
emongest princes as other superiour officers, to bee seduced by 
flatterers, pickthankes, and talebearers) this noble Emperour, 
likewise, by the instigation of suche as were aboute hym, who 
peroeiyyng the Duke to bee none of their flattryng fratemitie, 
and enveighyng the greate reputation wherein the Emperour 
helde hym, had so incensed the Emperour againste hym, that 
now his likyng was converted into loathyng, and his greate 
love toumed to a more hate, that in the ende the poore Duke 
was brought to answere unto many forged articles surmised 
against hym, who, neither in consideration of his former service 
dooen for his oountrey, neither in reepecte of the innocencie of 
his cause, could otherwise bee dispensed withall then to be 
banished into exile, hym self, Messilina his wife, Aurelianua 
his soonne, with Phylene his daughter; and although the 
^mmon sorte of people helde hym in greate honour, and 
muche lamented his case, yet it could not bee holpen, but the 
Emperour'^s decree, openly pronounced, must needes take place. 
I beseche you, gentilwomen, yet to comfort yourselves : I 


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knowe your gentill hartes can not endure to heare ef siiche 
ungentill partes ; but these are but the frumpes of ordinarie 
Fortune, not private to Duke Sappho alone, but common 
to all menne that bee of the like profession : for what happened 
better to the moste noble captaines of the worlde, or what other 
recompence received either Csesar, Scipio, Haniball, or many- 
other like, who, havyng honoured their countries with sondrie 
triumphes and many notable victories, when the warres were 
ended, and that there was no more neede of theim, finished 
their daies in such pitifuU plight, as I will keepe to myself;, 
because, right courteous gentilwomen, I rather desire to drawe 
you into delightes, then to droune you in dumphes, by re- 
vealyng of suche unnaturall factes as I knowe your gentle 
natures is not able to digest. 

Thus you have heard how this noble Duke, with his wife 
and children, by sentence from the Emperoure were banished 
from out their native countrey, as also from any other realmes, 
cities, tounes, or territories, beyng within the Emperour^s do- 
minions. There resteth now for the Duke t-o make suche poore 
provision for his furnishing as his habilitie might any waie» 
serve hym, the whiche, God knoweth, fell out so meane and 
skante, as it scarcely serveth hym to defraie his charges, to 
carrie hym from out those places from whence he was pro- 
hibited : and takyng his course towardes the partes of Mace- 
donia, after a long and wearie journey, he arrived at a toune 
called Tariffa, where beyng lodged in a meane and simple house, 
his money now beyng at the laste caste, wherewith to beare his 
charges, his poore wife and children altogether wearied with 
their long and troublesome travaill, and hym self all ashamed 
to bee knowne what he was. Now, it fell out that the hoste of 
the house, many tymes vewyng and castyng his eyes upon the 
Duchesse of Messilina, who, notwithstanding she dissembled 
her estate and degree, contented to leave her honourable dig- 
nitie, and to perticipate suche equall fortune with her housebande 
and children as their hard happes had conducted them unto, 


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jet her beautie (whiohe could not bee blemished with meane 
and homely garments) had so entangled her arrant hoste, that he 
could not be merrie when he was out of her sweete sight : and 
now, though he perceived his ghest beganne to waxe slacke in 
his paiement, and not able to disburse for his ordinarie ex- 
pences, yet, for the love he bare to his wife, he was contented 
to chalke up the charges behinde the doore, hopyng in the ende 
to have cleared the scores to his better content, and as tyme 
and convenience might serve him. He spared not to let the 
Duchess understande his greate likyng towardes her, assuryng 
her that the courtesie that he used towardes her housebande 
was onely for her sake, and that if he were assured his good 
will might bee acceptable in her sight, she might assure her 
self of suche a freend of hym, as would be as careftiU of her as 
her housebande to whom she was married. 

This ladie now havyng well pondered the woordes of her 
amourous hoste, who would not thinke but that she was muche 
perplexed in her mynde, that she, who had been borne of 
honourable parentage, espoused to a noble duke, whose dignitie 
in tymes paste surmounted all the rest, whose trainyng up had 
ever been emongst those of the highest degree, and now that 
her honourable estate was not onely eclipsed by crooked des- 
tinie, but also to have her chastitie assailed by suche a simple 
coisterell, whom she durste not so sharpely shake of, as her 
harte would very well have served, for that she knewe the 
Duke her housebande was runne in his debt ; neither could 
she tell by what meanes he was able to discharge it : she was 
therefore constrained, with faire speeches, to shift hym of from 
time to tyme, the whiche the knave perceivyng very well, be- 
ganne to thinke with hym self that it was but her housebandes 
presence that hindered hym of his purpose, and therefore de- 
termined to finde a present remedie. 

And now, commyng to his gheste, beganne to reckon with 
hym, and to call hym to accoumpt for the charges wherein he 
was behinde, tellyng hym, that at that verie instaunte he had 


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occasion to occupie money, whiche made hym not onely ta 
seeke up euche small sommes as were due onto hym, bat abo 
to trie his freendes otherwise to serve his toome, and that help- 
ing him now at his present neede, he might then begin againe 
a newe score, and would beare with him a muche longer time. 

The poore Duke then, inforced to seeke out an old salve fer 
a new sore, whiohe is to praie when he was not able to paie, 
with verie courteous speeches desired his hoste to beare with 
his inabiUtie, assuryng him that when time should serve he 
would so throughlie recompence hym, as he should have eaose 
to holde hym well contented. 

But what praiers mate prevaile, where pitie is eleane exiled, 
or what gentlenesse is to be looked for, to come from sudie an 
ungentle chorle, whose mynde was onely sette upon rape and 
ravine, who had premeditated before the drifte whiche (as he 
presupposed) was now sorted out as he looked for. 

Wherefore, (as it were) halfe in a furie, he uttered forthe 
these woordes : My freende, content yoursdif, and take this 
for a resolute aunswere : the money whiche now resteth in your 
handes, although I might verie ill forbeare it, as my case 
Btandeth, yet for that it is not myne ease to runne into any 
farther charges, without a better assuraunce then either woorded 
or promises, I am, notwithstanding, contented to beare with 
you for that whiche is- alreadie paste, mynding from this daia 
forwardes to give no further credite : and for that you are alto- 
gether a straunger, unto me unknowne, bothe what you are, 
from whence you come, whether you will, and where I should 
finde you, I purpose, therefore, for my better securitie, and 
the rather to come by that you alreadie doe owe me, to keepe 
your wife in paune, whom I knowe is so dearely beloved unto 
you, that for her sake I shall the .sooner heare from you 
againe : otherwise I knowe not where to inquire after you, nor 
how to come by that is my due, whiche I am not well able to 
forbeare, neither doe I mynde clearely to lose. 

The poore afflicted Duke, havyng never falne before into 


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cutthrotes handes, perswaded in deede that the tenour of this 
varlettes woordes, and the keepyng of his wife tended to no 
other ende but for his better assorannce to come by his money, 
was constrained to make a vertue of neeessitie, and was so 
muche the better pleased, for that his wife might stil remain 
free from further travaile, and thinkyng in tyme to setUe hym 
self, and to recover his wife and children aboat hym : with this 
resolution, he began to relate unto his wife with what saluta* 
tions his gentle hoste had greeted hym withall, desiryng her 
to comfort her self for a season, assuryng to doe his best in- 
devour, and to set up his sailes to the prosperous gales of 

This good ladie, hearyng her housbandes discourse, uncer- 
taine what to doe, wepte bitterly, as well for greef to loose his 
presence, as for that she should bee lefbe in the house of the 
arrant knave her hoste ; but like a wise ladie, hearyng the 
alleaged reasons of her lorde and housebande, did thinke it not 
for the beste to encrease his old sorowe with a newe greef, con- 
tented her self utteryng these woordes. 

Deare housebande, knowyng all that you have saied to be 
verie juste and true, I am contented for a certain tyme to force 
my will, in hope that hereafter we maie live together, joying 
ourselves in the companie of our children : and this I would 
desire you, that so often as you can, by convenience and trustie 
messengers, to sende me worde and intelligence of your health 
and estate, because the same should bryng greater contentation 
unto me then the welftre of myne owne self. 

This saied, she, imbracyng' hym verie lovyngly, and he 
kissyng her with great sorowe and greefe, tooke his leave, and 
badde hia ladie and spouse hartely fiireweU, leavyng with her 
Phylene, her deare daughter. 

Thus hym self with Aurelianus, his little soonne, departed 
from Taryffa, towardes the famous citie of Cayre, and as thei 
passed through a wildemesse, havyng loste their waie, wan- 
deryng twoo or three dales without any maner of foode, savyng 


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hippes, hawes, and slowes, suche as tbei coald gatber in the 
desert, the poore child beyng aver come with fiEuntnesse, not 
longer able to travaile, beganne to complaine to his afflicted 
&ther, desirjmg hym to sitte donne to reste hymself a tyme : 
the wofuU &tber, tormented in his mynde to see his poore 
distressed child, satte hym doune under a tree, where, after a 
while, recounting to hym self his sonderie misfortunes, beyng 
oppressed and wearied with travaile, he fell into a sound sleape. 
The childe, after he had a while rested hymself, leavyng his 
&ther a sleape, beganne to seeke about for somethyng to slake 
his hunger ; and as he was straiyng thus about the woodes, it 
fortuned the Duke of Vasconia, havyng loste his companie in 
the pursute of a stagge where he had been a hunting, and as 
he was crossyng the nexte waie, to goe to the citie of Messyna, 
where he helde his courte, havyng in his companie but the 
Lorde of Sura, with three or fewer servyng menne, he fortuned 
to espie the child runnyng in the bushes all alone ; and callyng 
the child unto hym, he saied, Alas, my little boye, what 
makest thou in this place ! art thou here alone, or how earnest 
thou hether ! I praie thee tell me. Forsothe, god£ither (^ 
the child) I came hether with my fether, who lyes a sleape 
here by, and I was seekyng somethyng to eate ; for, by my 
troth, I am so a hongered, that I could eate worse meate then 
a peece of a rested pigge, and that with all my harte. 

The Duke greately pleasuryng to heare the pretie aunswere 
of the childe, replied in this wise : How saiest thou, my little 
knave, wilt thou bee my boye, and dwell with me ! and I will 
give thee good meate thy beallio foil. How saiest thou ? wilt 
thou goe with me ! 

Yea, forsoothe, godfather (q, the childe) on that condition 
you will give me roste meate enough, I will goe with you 5 for 
I thinke I did not eate my beallie full of roste meate this 
moneth and more. 

The Duke then commaunded one of his menne to take up 
the child, whom he carried awaie with hym ; and now per- 


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c^iTyng it to be bothe well favoaced, quicke witt^, and very 
apt to learnyng, he brought it up at schoole, where he proved 
not onely wise and learned, but also in many other exercises 
convenient and fitte for gentlemen, he commonly excelled every 
other man : and thus leavyng hym at schoole, I wiU convert my 
tale to his wofull &ther, who, when he was awaked, and missed 
his pretie soonne, began to prie aboute in every bushe, sekyng, 
and callyng, What, Aurelianus ! Aurelianus ! where bee you, 
Aurelianus I But in the ende, when he could no where finde 
hym, thinkyng assoredly that he had been devoured by some 
wilde beaste, beganne with pitiful! exclamation to crie out : O, 
Fortune, Fortune ! more then fickle, who in a moment hoiste 
a man up to the highest degree, and by and by, in lesse 
space then in the twincklyng of an eye, she throweth hym 
doune againe so lowe, as more miserie is prepared for him in 
one daie, then she advaunced hym in an hundred yeres, whiche 
I now prove, and have experience in myself, and so muche the 
more the greater is my greef, who have been nourished deli- 
cately emongest my freendes, maintained still in moste pro- 
sperous estate, hopyng for the full perfection of my felicities, 
by marriyng a noble dame, with whom I pretended to spende 
the residue of my life, accordyng to the scope and lotte ap- 
pointed by the Almightie God ; but now, beholde, all my enter- 
prises bee quite pluckte backe, and my purposes toumed deane 
topse-torve, in suche wise, that from honourable estate I am 
driven to wander like a vacabonde, driven from poste to piller, 
from countrie to countrie, from region to region, to sequestrate 
my self from emongest my freendes, without any assured place 
where to make my abode. Oh, froward &te ! how canst thou 
bee so hard harted, and void of pitie, still to prosecute thy 
cruell pursute! first to deprive me of my honourable dig- 
nities ; then to banishe me from emongest my lovyng freendes ; 
thirdlie, to separate me from Messilina, my well beloved wife, 
more deare unto me then the balles of my unhappie eyes ; and 
not yet contented, but now to bereve me of my sweete infant, 


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my onely hope of eomforte in mj olde age ! O, Death ! Death ! 
the ende of all sorrowes, and the beginner of felicitieB, now 
make sharpe thy darte, and give no longer delaye of life ; dis- 
patcher diepatche at once the moste infortunate manne that 
lives this daie on yearth ; for ivbat availes my life, if in the 
galfe of eorow and greef I droande the pleasures of the same! 
Bat, ah ! I see right well then preservest the same, of purpose 
•but to delight in my greeves, and to triamphe over my adver- 
sities. And here withall the brinishe teares so streamed 
donne his cheekes, that he was not fiurther able to speake one 
woorde, but runnyng up and doune the woodes, eighyng and 
sobbyng, in greate anguid^e of mynde, and his bodie muche 
infeebled for want of foode and sustenaunce, he fortuned to 
meete certaine labouryng menne, that dwelte in a poore village 
not farre from the place, who pereeivyng by his geasture that 
he was passionated in his thoughtes, thei beganne, with suche 
curtesie as thei had learned in the countrie, to demaunde the 
occasion of his greef. 

But he, knowing verie well how &rre thei were unable to 
minister releef to the leaste of his afflictions, could render no 
other aunswere then piteous sighes and subbes ; but the poore 
pesauntes, when thei had better beheld the talnesse of his sta- 
ture, the seemelinesse of his countenaunce, and the comelinesse 
of his personage, were greatelie mooved with compassion to- 
wardes hym, and with suche badde eloquence as their skill 
would permit, beganne to perswade hym to walke with them 
to their cabbins, where he might refreshe hymself with suche 
homely junckettes as was provided for their owne suppers. 
The Duke, contented to yeeld to their requestes, walked along 
with them, where he remained all the night, verie pensive and 
heavie in his harte, and beganne to thinke with hymself that 
there was no more hope left for him to heare of his sonne, and 
therefore beganne to imagine how he might render some 
releef to his poore wife and daughter, whom he had left as you 
before have heard. 


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N0W9 there was dwelljng harde by the place, a nobleman 
that was lorde of the village, who, havyng intelligenoe of this 
distressed straunger, caused hjm to be sente for ; before whom 
when the Duke was presented, after many questions debated 
betweene them, ihe noble manne demaunded of the Duke what 
countrey manne he was, and how he had been trained up, and 
then if he could bee contented to plaie the servyngman, and 
would bee careftdl and diligent in his roaister'^s affiures, that 
then he would bee contented to receiye hym into his service, 
and would rewarde hym accordyngly as he was able to deserve. 

The Duke, all ashamed to bee knowne what he was, reve- 
rently made aunswere that he was borne in the countrey of 
Achaia, and that he had been trained up in service with son* 
dene noble menne, and would bee very well contented to doe 
his beet indevonr to serve him with the beste service he could 

Thus the po<xre Duke became a servyng man, whom we will 
leave with his maister, and retume to his wife, who was lefte 
in hucsters handelyng, (as you have heard) remained in the 
house with this verlette, who soughte by sondrie assaies to 
satisfie his villanous luste ; and like an experte souldier, when 
lie commeth to beseege a holde, first sendeth his herauldes to 
summon the forte, proferyng many large conditions, if thei will 
quietly surrender, but if defiaunce be made, then presently he 
placeth his batterie, thundeiyng forthe his canon shot against 
the waUes, whiche if thei bee so well rampered, that there will 
no breache bee made, yet he ceaseth not with giftes and bribes 
to corrupte the warders, not caryng how he conquereth, so he 
maie have the epoyle. 

This vilaine, in likewise, sought first with piteous sighes, 
whiche, sanst with sugred woordes, did serve in steede of 
haranldes to perswade her to yeeU up the keyes of the for- 
treese, that with peaceable enlaie he might take possession at 
Ins pleasure $ but beeyng by her repulsed, and the flagge of 
defiaunce di8|daied upon the bulworke, then with thunderyng 


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threaies he tfainketh to make his batierie, profeiyng to caste 
her into prison for the debt whiche was owyng hym for her 
housbande and her self. Other whiles againe he would tempte 
her, and trie her with giftes, thinkyng that for the necessitie 
she was driven into, she would have made sale of that whiche 
she preferred before her owne life. 

This noble dame, perceiyyng her self so hardly beset on 
every side, fearyng in the ende the verlet should woorke her 
some greater despight, so enforced her self, with Phylene her 
Uttle daughter, to &11 to worke, that with weavyng and 
knittyng of laces, and otherwise with their needles, thei had 
gained so muche money as she was able to set her self free 
from out a knave'^s debt. And thinkyng with her self that her 
housebande had remained about the citie of Gayre, to the 
whiche he purposed to journey when he departed from her, she 
determined with all convenient speede to repaire thether, as 
well to comforte herself with the companie of her lorde and 
housebande, as otherwise with her yearnynges to helpe to re- 
leve hym : but for that she had understandyng that the pas- 
sage by lande was not onely troublesome, but also very incon- 
venient for her to travaile, by reason it laie through wooddes 
and desertes, she gate inteligence of a small barke that was 
bound thether by sea, whiche onely staled but for a winde to 
serve her tume. Here upon she discharged her self from the 
towne of Taryffa, and when wether served, agreyng with the 
maister for her passage, her self with her daughter repaired 
aborde the barke, whiche beyng put to sea, was forced, by the 
extremitie of a contrary winde, to put themselves romer for the 
safetie of their lives, to a cleane contrary place. And where 
thei ment to have sailed to the citie of Gayre, thei were now 
arived at the citie of Gherona, where the ladie commyng a 
shore, she joyed nothyng so muche in the narrowe escape she 
had made with life, by reason of the tempest, as she sorrowed 
for beyng so farre driven from her housbande, whose fellowship 
she more desired then either wealthe or worldly treasure. But 


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for asmuche as both herself and her daughter were very evill at 
ease, and greatly infeebeled with sicknesse at the sea, and bad 
lying in the shippe, she determined to make her abode still at 
Cherona, till she might convaie letters to Taryffa, that should 
certifie her housbande of all that had happened. 

In the meane tyme, her housbande havyng received some 
small benevolence of his lorde and maister, who had conceived 
some good likyng of hym, by reason of the skill that he had 
in the ridyng of horse, very desirouse to render his wife some 
portion of his good fortunes, who had bin so long tyme par- 
taker of his evill happes, cravyng leave of his lorde for a tyme, 
came to Taryffa, where, when he missed his wife, whose letters 
were not yet come from Cherona, and therefore could get no 
inteligence, but that she was gone to Cay re of purpose to seeke 
hym, in a greate perplexitie he travelled towardes Cayre, 
where, makyng greate inquirie, could leame nothyng of her : 
from thence he posted from place to place, from citie to citie, 
from towne to towne, but beyng never the neare his purpose, 
he then began to double his dolours, and with bitter wordes to 
curse the celestiall signes and planets, which raigned at the daie 
of his nativitie and howre of his birthe, contented to yeeld 
hym self a captive to mishappe, and to surrender hym self a 
subjecte to Fortune^s froward frumpes. Beyng thus turmoyled 
with greate anguishe of mynde, wanderyng to and fro, he was 
brought so low and bare, that he was readie to begge an almes 
from doore to doore ; and commyng to a poore countrey vil- 
lage, his penurie was suche, that he was glad to become a ser- 
vaunt to hym that was the sexten of the parishe ; whom he 
had not served long, but the old sexten his maister died, and 
for that he had now learned to ryng belles, and had some cun- 
nyng in the keepyng of a clocke, the parishioners were con- 
tented to place hym in his maister's rome. The Duke, thinkyng 
liymself more then thrise happie to gett so greate preferment, 
thanked ladie Fortune, that had so freendly dealt with hym, 
resolvyng hymself to continue the office while he lived ; but 



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Fortaiie,.findyng hym bo thankfull for a little, dealte more 
freendly with hym, as after you shall heare. 

But I will firste declare how it happened with his somie 
Aurelianus, who was taken up in the woodes by the Duke of 
Vasconya, as before you have heard. 

But here I muste firste remember you, that the Duke 
chaunged his name from Aurelianus to Silvanus, whiche name 
he gave hym of purpose, for that he was found in the woodes. 

Silvanus now, havyng been trained up at schoole, was come 
to mannes estate ; and besides that he had the knowledge of 
good letters, he was comely in his personage, and of verie good 
proportion, and in all manor of activities appertainyng to a 
gentilman, he exceeded every other that was in the courte : be- 
sides in his demeanours he was so courteous and gentill, that 
he gained the good will and likyng bothe of one and other, but 
especially of the Duke hymself, who alowed hym suche large 
expenses, whereby to maintaine hym self as brave as the 

Now, this noble Duke havyng no other children but one 
onely daughter, whose name was Valerya, in whom it seemed 
that bothe vertue and beautie had held some greate centention 
who should beare awaie the prise ; for although that in beautie 
and good grace she exceeded every other dame, yet her vertuea 
and good conditions surmounted more her beautie, then the 
finest golde surmounteth leade or drosse. 

The ladie now havyng heard greate reporte of the noblenesse 
of Silvanus, who was suspected to bee but some poore mannes 
soonne, by reason he was founds in the woodes, beganne yet to 
beare hym very good countenaunoe, whiche at the first pro- 
ceeded but of the noble nature, whiche ever was accustomed to 
bee &vourable to suche in whom was fi)unde any worthie de«> 
sarte : but, as the fishe whiche by little and little sucketh upon 
the baite, till at the length she swalloweth doune the hooke, 
whereby she hangeth fikste, not able to firee her self, so thia 
Ladie Valerya, contemplating herself many tymes to beholde 


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that jong gentleman, Silyanos, was so farre intangeled with 
hifl Bweete and pleasannt eountenaonce, that now, perforce her 
will, she was eonstrained to yeelde to love ; and feelyng her 
self insnared, and bereved of former freedome, beyng bj her 
self alone, she began to complaine as followeth : 

Alas ! (saieth she) is it possible that now force perfdrce my 
mynde should bee so altered, that, straiyng from the boundes 
and fimites of vowed chastitie, I should now become amourous, 
and subject to a certaine unacquainted luste t From whence 
eommeth this alteration ! or how happeneth this unaccustomed 
hewe ! Ah, Lore, Love ! how haste thou tormented me, and 
taken awaie the healthe and soundnesse of my mynde ! It be- 
hoTeth me to shewe myself as issued forthe of the noble house 
of y asconya ; and with the greater care I ought to take heede 
how I degenerate from the noble blood whereof I am descended, 
rather then to sette my mynde on a foundlyng unknowen, unto 
whom, peradventure, if I discover my fondnesse, will not let to 
mocke me for my labour, and for all the beautie or noblenesse 
of my birthe, will make me his jestyng stocke, and solace hym 
self with the fondnesse of my conceiptes. But staie, stale, nn* 
happie tongue, that thundereth forthe suche hatefiill woordes 
against my beloved Silvanus. Oh, thrise accursed wenche, 
that can so ungently conceive against hym, that in 9II his 
demeanours doeth shewe hym self as noble as the beste ! but 
of what metall are either monarche, kyng, or keiser, framed of, 
otherwise then of naturall and common yearth, wherof other 
menne doe come ! or what maketh these differences, whiche 
by sottish opinion we conceive, either of gentle or ungentle, 
otherwise then the shewe of vertue and good conditions ! Then, 
the partie whom I love is both vertuous, valiant, sage of good 
grace, learned, and wise. Vaunte thee, then, Valeria, that 
thou likest no inferiour fondlyng, unworthie of thy love, but a 
worthie gentilman, indued with noble qualities, in whom bothe 
heaven and nature have forgotten nothyug to make hym 
equall to them that marche in formoste ranke. It is Silvanus 



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whom I love, and of him I pretende to make a lawfiiU hou9- 
bande, for otherwise I detest to leade the filthie life of lawlesse 
luste ; but thus, the bonde of manage beeing made, I male love 
and live without offence of conscience ; neither shall I doe any 
blotte or blemishe to the greatnesse of my house. But if any 
be so scrupulous as to thinke by marryins; of hym I should 
deminishe myne honour, it is the thing that I doe leaste 
esteeme ; for what is honour worthe, where the mynde is voide 
of contentation ! and where the harte is bereved of his cheefest 
desire, the bodie remaineth restlesse, and the mynde is never 
in quiet. Silvanus, therefore, shalbe my loyall housbande, 
moanyng thereby neither to offende God nor man. 

And now from hence forwardes she devised with her self 
how to make her love knowne to Silvanus, not sparyng, when 
she was out of his presence, before all men to praise his greate 
perfections wherewith he was enriched 5 and in his owne pre- 
sence she used suche lovyng countenaunce towardes hym, that 
although Silvanus were but yong, and had never been trained 
up in the schoole of love, yet he perceived verie well that those 
frendly glances were lent hym of good likyng, and those lovyng 
countenances were grounded of good will : and albeit he sawe 
the inequalitie and difference betweene them both, she beeyng 
sorted out of royall race, and hym self altogether ignorant of 
his owne estate and from whence he was sprong, yet beyng 
now ledde by love, whose lawes have no respecte either to 
estate or dignitie, he determined to foUowe his fortune and to 
serve her, whiche so lovyngly shewed her self to requite hym 
with the like. And the more he called to mynde the divine 
beautie of his ladie, her graces, wisedome, behaviour, and cur- 
tesie, so muche the more increased his desire, fortifying him 
self against all mishappes and perilles that might succede, and 
began to debate with hym self in this manner. 

How is it possible that I should be so foolishe to despise a 
dutie so rare and preciouse, and to set light by that whiche the 
noblest would pursue with all reverence and indevour ! I am 


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not the first that hath obtained the love of a ladie : no, no, I 
see she loveth me, and shall not I requite it by yeeldyng love 
againe! if I were so yoide of humanitie and good nature, 
besides I might woorke myne owne overthrowe, in seerayng to 
dispise so noble a ladie, so the goddes would not let to minister 
revenge as thei did upon Narcissus. But ah, silly wretche 
that I am ! what folly is this that I have now premeditated 
with the' perill of myne honour, and the hazarde of my life ? 
see, see, how ferre my affectious begin to straie, through the 
hot assaultes of foolishe fantasie, inraged with an appetite 
risyng on vaine hope ! what madnesse on me to thinke that 
Valerya will so muche forget the greatnesse of her house, or 
yet imbase her self in respect of me, poore silly soule ! but 
what if she! would be contented, either in respecte of manage, 
or otherwise in respecte of good will, to surrender herself to 
satisfie ray request, I, muche were I the neare my purpose ! 
alas ! nothyng at all : the first, I kuowe, should be denaide me 
by the Duke, her father, and as for any other curtesie, although 
I knowe it bee farre from her thought, yet surely myne owne 
conscience would not suffer me to proffer so greate villanie to 
BO noble a ladie, neither the reverence and duetie whiche I owe 
to her &ther would permitte me to requite his gentilnesse to- 
wardes me with so greate an injurie. Cease, therefore, Sil- 
vanus ; subdue thy seiisualitie, that, by vauquishyng thy self, 
thou maist set open the gate to fame, who with her trompe of 
everlastyng glorie, she maie advaunce thee reo owned to all 
posteritie. But, alas ! shall I then give over to love my Ladie 
Valerya? reason wUles me so to doe, but love hath so blinded 
all my sences, that reason giveth no maner of light : what 
helpe have I then hereafter to hope for ! alas ! I knowe no one, 
and therefore be content. Herewithall he staied his travaile, 
resolvyng with hym self to conquere his affections ; and beeyng 
in his chamber takyng pen and ynck, he sate hym doune, and 
wrote these verses foUowyng. 


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No Bhame, I trust, to cease from former iD, 
Nor to rerert the leudnesse of the myiide ; 

Whiche hath bin tndnde, and so misled by will. 
To breake the boimdes, whiche reason had assyngde* 

I now forsake the former t jme I spent, 
And sorry am, for that I was miswent. 

But blynde forecast was he that made me swarve. 

Affection fond, was lorer of my lust : 
My fimcie fixte, desire did make me serre, 

Vaine hope was he that trained all my trust. 
Good liking then so daseled had my sight. 

And dimnde myne eyes, that reason gave no light. 

0, sugred swete, that trainde me to this trap ! 

I sawe the baite, where hooke laie hidden fiut : 
I well perceirde the drift of my mishi^ ; 

I knewe the bit woulde breede my bane at last. 
But what for this, for sweete I swallowed all. 

Whose taste I finde more bitter now then gall. 

But loe ! the fiiiitee that grewe by fonde desire. 

I seeke to shunne, that pleased best my mynde ; 
I sterve for colde, yet &ine would. quenche the fire. 

And glad to loose, that feinest I would finde. 
In one self thyng I finde both baall and blisse : 

But this is straunge, I like no life but this. 

When he had thus penned these verses, he committed them 
to memorie ; and the next daie, beyng in the companie of cer- 
taine gentlemen and gentlewomen in the court, taking a lute, 
whereon he could plaie very well, and havyng likewise good 
knowledge in his song, and therwithall a very pleasaunt voyce, 
be began to sing this dittie before mentioned, in the middest 


by Google 


whereof came in the yong Ladie Valerya, wherewith Silvanus 
Btaied his song : but she, joynyng her self to the companie, 
seyn^ the sainct that secretly shrined in her thought, she had 
vowed her greatest devotion unto, desired Silvanus at her 
request to begin his song againe. Silvanus, makyng the matter 
nothyng nyce, was pleased very well to satisfie her request, 
and ta^yng the lute began his song, to the whiche the ladie 
gave intentive eare from the beginnyng to the ending ; and per*^ 
ceiving the song to be made in some extreame passion forced 
by love, she demaunded of Silvanus, who had penned those 
verses? who aunswered, thei were of his owne pennyng, and so 
lately doen that he could not forget theim. The ladie then, 
thinkyng Silvanus to be in love with some other gentlewoman, 
departed very speedily, as though some sodaine motion had 
happened to her mynde, and commyng to her chamber, shut- 
tyng &8t the doore, she began to saie as followeth. 

How muche am I unfortunate above all other women ! that 
beyng a ladie of suche bloud as I am, and yet am happened 
into so straunge a miserie, that in manor with myne owne 
mouth I have made request to him, whiche rather with all 
humihtie ought to prefer me his service, and yet am scome- 
fully rejected, and an other like to catche the birdes, whilest I 
doe but beate the bushe: Oh, Silvanus, Silvanus ! deemest 
thou me no better worthe then so lightly to rcrjecte my prof- 
fered love ! and shall an other, that is muche lesse worthie, 
beare awaie the sweete fruiie of my desired hope, and shall 
possesse without deserte the glorie due to a firme and &ithftill 
frende! No, no, I can not thinke thee so ingrate, and my 
harte foretelleth me that it is impossible my Silvanus should 
wander so &rre from equitie, but that he is able to discerns of 
colours, and will not requite me with wrong for right. I am 
sure not to be deceived in my love — I knowe he loveth me, 
but that he dareth not to disclose the same, fearyng I should 
refuse hym^ and cast hym of with shame : I will not let, ther- 
fbre, with myne owne mouth to bewraie the same unto hyni^ 


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and to manifeet my good will, wherby my chast and honest 
amitie once knowne onto hym, vertue herself maie knitte the 
knotte betweene us, whiehe can not chose but bryng forthe the 
froites of troe and perfect fireendship. 

And shall I then, beeyng a ladie of soche degree, bee con- 
strained to sew, where every other woman of the meanest 
reputation bee ordinarily reqoired, and that with the importo- 
nate instance of their soters i I shall then be noted of bold- 
nesse, and bee thought to straie too &rre from the limites and 
boundes of modestie, and to make a greater show of lightnesse, 
then is properly looked for in us that be of the feminine gender. 
But what strictnesse is this prescribed to our sexe, that we 
should bee bereved of our libertie, and so absolutely condemned 
of lightnesse in seeking to satisfie our lawfull and honest de- 
sires! with what trampe bee wee tempered withall more then 
menne, whereby wee should bee able to withstande the forces 
of the fleshe, or of power to resiste the concupiscences whiehe 
Nature it self hath assigned! Wee bee tearmed to bee the 
weaker yesselles, and yet thei would have us more puissaunte 
then either Samson or Hercules : if manne and woman bee 
made of one mettall, it must needes foUowe by consequence 
wee be subject to like infirmitie : from whence commeth, then, 
this freedome, that menne maie aske what thei desire of us, 
bee it never so leude, and wee mi^e not crave any thing of 
them that tendeth to good and honest pretence! It is termed 
to bee but a mannes parte that seeketh our dishonour, by leude 
and lawlesse luste ; but to a woman it is imputed for light- 
nesse to firme her lawfull likyng with pure and loyall love : if 
menne will have preheminence to dooe evill, why should wee 
bee reproved for doyng well ! 

Whereuppon stande I then amazed with these fonde opi- 
nions ! my love is not unlawAill, neither before God nor man. 
I love Silvanus, whom I will take for my housbande, for other- 
wise to love hym my harte dooeth not intende : therefore, 
without any fiuther respite or delaye, I will make my love 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


knowne unto hym, and the bande of manage once confirmed 
betweene us, shall cover the &ult whiche meune would dome. 
Neither shall my mjnde be altered, either by the sugred per- 
swasion of freendes, neither terrified with any threates that 
maie bee thundered forthe by parentes blusteryng wrathe. I 
am not so farre overwhelmed with pride, that, in respecte for 
the greatnesse- of my parentage, I should despise a gentleman 
indued more with vertue then with riches. Though there bee 
some that bee of this condition, that thei will soner preferre 
the greatnesse of birthe then the greatnesse of vertue, the 
aboundance of wealthe then the aboundance of witte, the 
perfection of beautie then the perfection of the minde ; but I 
am out of the nomber of those women whiche care more to 
have their housbandes purses well lined with money, whereby 
thei maie bee maintained in their braverie, or sometymes fixe 
their fancie upon some yong man, that is of goodlie personage, 
although voide of vertue, qualitie, and good conditions, that 
ought to gamishe a gentleman, and doeth more beautifie and 
enriche hym then either the bare shewe of beautie, or any 
other giftes of fortune : but I cannot emploie my love uppon 
transitorie treasure, when the riches of the mynde is cleaue 
taken awaie. No, no ; it shall better content me to see a 
meane gentleman beloved and praised of every one for his ver- 
tues, then to marie a miser possessed with all the goodes of 
the worlde, hated and ill spoken of for his vices. Feare not, 
then, Valeria, to foUowe thy determination, and to put in 
-proofe what thou hast pretended. 

Herewithall staiyng herself, she beganne to practise the 
meane, in what manner she might bewraie her love to Silvan us, 
seekyng for occasion and tyme meete for her purpose ; and 
although there remained in her a certaine naturall shame&st- 
nesse, wherwith maidens are commonlie accompanied, which 
for a tyme did close her mouthe, and made her to deferre the 
tyme of her desolved mynde, yet, in the ende,. throughlie per- 
swaded in her intent, she sent one of her maidens, willyng Sil- 


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vanos to come and speake with her aboute certaine affidres thai 
she had to imploye hym. The maide havyng finished her 
message, there could never more joyful! newes happen to S3* 
vanus ; who eutryng the chamber of Valeria with tremblyng 
harte, after he had dooen his reverence, with greate feare and 
bashefiilnesse, saied. For that I understande your Ladiship 
hath to employe me aboute certaine affaires, I shall thinke 
my self the moste happiest man in the worlde, if my trayaile 
and diligence might any waies dooe you service, bee it that 
therein I should offer or sacrifice myne honour or life, cravyng 
no greater benefite for the satisfaction of all my contentations 
received in this world, then to serve, obeye, and honour you, bo 
long as my life doeth laste. 

The ladie nowe, all ravished with joye and contentation, 
perceivyng by his chaunge of ^colour the fiiult proceaded of ve- 
hemente love, takyng hym aside into a windowe. Love had so 
closed up her mouthe, that she knewe not how to beginne her 
tale ; her mynde was so troubled, her wittes so fkrre out of 
course, that her tongue fiiiled to dooe his office in suche wise 
that she was not able to speake one onely woorde. 

He likewise, perplexed with the like fever, was now astonied 
to see the alteration of his ladie. 

Thus these two lovers, like twoo sencelesse images, stoode 
stilly beholdyng eche other, without any manor of moovyng. 
In the ende, the ladie takyng courage in her self, with a trem- 
blyng voyce, joyned with a maidenlike shamefastnesse, began 
to sale as followeth. 

Beyng assured (my Silvanus) of your discretion and wise- 
dome, whiche Nature hath not onely indued you withall, but 
art hath also accomplished what nature beganne to woorke, I wil 
therefore make no doubte at all to lette you knowe the hidden 
secretes of my harte ; neither vrill I goe aboute with circum- 
staunce to colour my woordes, but beyng well perswaded thai 
when you shall bothe heare and savour my speeches, and 
therewithall sounde the deaptfa of my devises, yoa will easily 


by Google 


conjecture that my enterprises be none other then juste, and 
that my alledged reasons are grounded of good pretence. I 
thinke, sithence your arivall here in the court of the Duke my 
fether, you have not scene me in any behaviour otherwise then 
vertue doeth pennitte, nor in any my demeanours exceadyng 
the boundes of modestie, otherwise then becommeth a maiden 
of my callyng, beyng deecended of so worthie a stocke ; but if 
this be a faulte, that beyng provoked by the purenesse of my 
harte and fidelitie of my good will, who to keepe the same in- 
violable doe voluntarilie offer my self to the honest disposition 
of your judgemente, as it shall please you to conceive of me, 
I have then committed a &ulte in likyng you too well, but 1 
trust nothyng at all Q^ded Qod, who knoweth the inno- 
cencie of my crime. 

Thinke not, Silvanus, that I am the freend of Fortune, and 
practise pleasure alone without vertue j for it is modestie that 
commaundeth me, and honestie is the guide of my conceiptes, 
sweaiyng and protestyng by the Almightie God, that never 
manne shall touche Valerya, excepte it bee in mariage ; and 
he that otherwise would assaile me, I have a harte that shall 
encourage my handes to sacrifice my life. And now, Silvanus, 
if you will not thinke me more prodigall of my present then 
your fancie will serve you to take in goode parte, beholde, it is 
you that I have chosen for my spouse and loyall housbande. 
And although I had determined to dissemble that whiche now 
I have laied open unto you, yet reposyng myself in your vertue 
and honestie, I truste I shall not have cause to repent me for 
anythyng that I have either saied or doen. 

Silvanus, whiche all this while heaiyng this heavenly har<* 
monie, with full assuraunce of that he moste wished for, albeeit 
he sawe no possibilitie how to [bring to] passe this desired 
mariage, yet determined not to refuse so greate a pref^ment, 
beyng so francke and liberally offered, aunswered in this maner. 

I knowe not, madame, with what humilitie aod reverence I 
might receive and accept this your greate bountie and noble- 


by Google 


nesse, so graciouslie offered unto me : I dooe acknowledge my 
condition and state too base, and that my love maie bee thought 
to presume too ferre beyonde the boundes of order, consideryng 
that my ignobilitie and birthe are no meete matches for suche 
a peerelesse princes ; yet this I dare boldlie affirme, that if 
love and entire affection borne to your ladiship might serve to 
countervail! that defect, whiche by place of birth the destinies 
have denaied me, I dare undertake I should as well deserve to 
bee received, as he that is lineallie descended from the greatest 
monarchic of the worlde. The which love, if till this tyme I 
have delaied to open, I beseeche you, madame, to impute it to 
the greatnesse of your estate, and to thcduetie of my callyng ; 
but now, for as muche as by your own motion, grace,. courtesie, 
and greate liberalitie, the same is preferred, and that of your 
owne bountie, it pleaseth you to accept me for yours, I 
humblie beseche you not to dispose of me as of a housebande, 
but as of one whiche bothe is and shall bee your servaunt for 
ever. Thus saied, he takyng her by the hand, kissed it with 
greate devotion, his tongue and wittes were so rapt and tied, 
as the ladie perfectly perceived this alteration, and seeyng it to 
proceade of love, replied in this manor. 

Then, my Silvanus, there nedeth at this present no farther 
circumstaunce. But for that I am well assured there are some 
that will bee offended with my choice, but especiallie the Duke 
my &ther, who will conceive some greate displeasure against 
me, there resteth then that this our contracte bee kept verie 
secret, until it please God to appoint the tyme that the rest of 
our determinations maie without daunger be consummate and 
accomplished. In the meane tyme, trusting that your desire 
is godlie, and that the freendship you pretende to beare me is 
founded upon vertue, and to be concluded by manage, receive 
me for your spouse and lawfuU wife : you shall have suche 
part in me, as without any regard to the obedience and duetie 
that I owe to my parentes, I am yours, beeyng readie and dis- 
posed to obeye you, so farre as my honour maie permit me. 


by Google 


These twoo lovers, now grounding themselves the one in the 
others fidelitie, could not so cunnyngly disemble and cloke 
their affections, but that it was easily perceived by their secret 
glaunces and countenaunces conveighed from the one to the 
other (and as wee have a proverbe— it is ill haultyng before a 
creeple) so there were many about the court that were so 
well studied in the schoole of Love, that thei were able to have 
commenced maisters of arte, and could easily conjecture from 
whence those rowlyng lookes did proceade ; that beeyng now 
assured of that whiche before was but suspected, the brute was 
spread aboute the courte of the love that was betweene Sil- 
vanus and Valeria, that in the ende it came to the Duke her 
&ther^s eare, who takyng the matter verie greevouslie, that his 
daughter, to whom the inheritaunce of the dukedome remained 
after his decease, should so meanely bestowe her love of a 
fondlyng founde in the woodes, and mindyng to fynde a 
remedie for the matter, willed Silvanus that, in paine of his 
Ufe, within twentie daies he should departe the couil^e, and 
never after to bee seen within the jurisdictions of the Duke- 
dome of Vasconia. 

Valeria now, havyng intelligence what had happened, had 
no leasure to vexe or moleste herself, when tyme rather re- 
quired a speedie remedie for the incounteryng of those mis- 
happs, devised with Silvanus to conveigh herself awaie, con- 
tented rather to live in the fellowship of an honest, lovyng 
housebande, with whom she should hold faithfull and loyall 
companie, with what estate and fortune so ever it might please 
God to appoincte, then to live without hym, beautified with the 
graces and foolishe names of honour and preheminence. 

Silvanus, contented to satisfie her desire with the hazarde 
of his life, yeelded to her request, and, before the twentie daies 
were expired, so cleanely conveighed hym self and Valeria 
awaie, that, when thei were missyng, the Duke wist not which 
w^es to sonde after them. Wherefore, in a greate ftirie, he 
spared not to sende oute greate companies, whiche, postyng 


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every wide, made enqnirie and eearcbe after them ; bat all in 
vaine, for Silvanus had so disgoised hjm self and Valeria, 
that without any manor of trouble thei quietly passed the 
countrey, and havyng freede theim selves from out the daunger 
of the Duke, desyring that the dale of their manage might 
now bee prefixed, the whiche by mutuall consent was presently 
determined, and by greate fortune (or rather conduction, by 
the providence of Gtod) thei happened to arrive in the countrey 
village where Duke Sappho, that was father to Silvanus, had 
remained all this while sexten of the parishe. In this village, 
because it was a place free from resort, whereby thei might 
remaine unknowne, and in the better safetie, thei purposed as 
well to celebrate their manage as for a tyme to make their 
aboade till matters were better quieted, and that thei might at 
kisure resolve what course were beste for theim to take. Sil- 
vanus, now havyng conferred with the prieste, the manage daie 
was appoincted, where the poore belrynger, t«kyng the vewe of 
this newe married couple, fell in a greate likyng of Silvanus ; 
not for that he knewe hym to be his sonne, for thereof he 
could have no maruer of suspition, aswell for that he deemed he 
had been devoured in the woodes by some wilde beaste, as also 
because his name was diaunged, but whether it were by the 
instigation and secresie of nature, or otherwise by the will and 
pleasure of G-od, to bryng to passe that whiche afterwardes 
happened in effecte, this poore Sexton, I saie, lead by the 
secret motion of his owne affections, proffered Silvanus that if 
his service might any waies stande hym in steede, (for that he 
was a straunger in the place) he should use hym in any 
respecte, and should fjmde hjm readie to stande hym in suche 
steade, as his poore abilitie might any waies permit. 

Silvanus in like case havyng forgotten his &ther, beyng 
separated from hym in his in&ncie, yet nothyng despising his 
freendly offer, craved his helpe for the hieryng of a chamber 
for some reasonable rent, till tyme that he might better pro- 
vide for hymself. The Sexten, verie glad that he had so good 


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oportuiiitie to pleasure hjm, brought hym with his wyfe to his 
owne house, where he lodged hym iu the beste roome that 
be had, profferyng not onelj his house but all that was in it 
to be at their disposition and pleasure. This newe married 
couple, now gladdyng and sportyng themselyes with all suche 
Bwete imbracementes, as thei can better describe whiche have 
been possessed with the like deUghtes : but as some will saie 
it is the mannes parte to be first wearied in those veneriall 
sportes, so Silvaaus, hayyng now well feasted hjm self with 
that sweete repaste, had leisure to bethjnke hym of his owne 
estate, began inwardly to growe into greate sorrowe and heayi* 
nesse, not so much for hym self as for his wife, who for hi» 
sake had dii^ssest herself from so great honour, abandonyng 
herfreendes, contented to yeeld her self a thrall to Fortune. 

These cogitations did so nippe hym, that he could not so 
well dissemble his greef, but that his wife perceived some dis- 
quietnesse in his mynde ; and therefore verie greevouslie she 
demaunded of hym to shewe her the cause of his discontent- 
ment, whiche by outward appearance seemed inwardlie so 
mrache to molest hym. 

Silyanns, hearyng his ladies requeste, aunswered in this 
wise : My deare wife, the sweetest companion that ever manne 
did possesse, for so muche as you so earnestly desire to under* 
stande what it is that so muche withdraweth my delightes, I 
will not let to bewraie the truthe, whiche is this. When I con- 
sider with my self of your present estate and condition, who, 
from the tippe and height of dignitie, have not spared for my 
sake to surrender your self to become a subject to all mishaps, 
besieged on every side with the future assaultes or ordinarie 
fortune; it maketh me, therefore, to have the greater care 
by what meanes I might endevour myself to maintaine and 
eontinue your estate, though not accordyng to your worthinesse 
and callyng, yet accordyng to your well contentmente and 
likyng. And hereupon conceivyng in my hedde diverse ima- 
ginations, no meanes but one in my fancie seemeth beste, 


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whiche is, that I goe to the coarte of the Eroperoor Claudius, 
who at tills present is leadyng a greate bande to encounter the 
Turke, at whose handes I doubte not but to receive some good 
entertainment : and besides the honour and reputation I maie 
gaine by good deserte, I maie likewise reape suche livyng and 
good likyng of the Emperour, that, in despight of Fortune's 
teethe, wee maie live here<after a quiet and honourable life, to 
our greate joye and comforte. But when I did consider the 
beloved companie of you, deare wife, I feared to bewraie that 
whiche now I have disclosed, not knoweyng in what parte you 
would take it, that I should so sodainly departe. Loe ! here 
the cause of my disquietnesse, whiche you desire so instantly 
to knowe. 

The ladie, whiche was wise, peroeivyng the greate love that, 
ber housebande did beare her, when he had staled hy mself from 
talke, with glad and merrie countenaunce aanswered in this 

Ah, Silvanus ! the exampler of all vertue and gentlenesse, 
let death and fortune doe what thel list, for 1 coumpt myself 
more then satisfied of all that is past, by the onely enjoying of 
your presence, contentyng myself to bee a partaker of your 
misfortunes ; and I have no doubt but that I can so moderat 
my affections, that, duryng my life, I will rest better contented 
with that whiche your abilitie wil permit, be it never so meane, 
then otherwise to bee honoured with names and titles of no- 
bilitle in princely state or porte, having not your presence. 
Disquiet not yourself, therefore, but persever in your deter- 
mination, and that sorowe whiche shall assalle me by reason 
of your absence, I will sweten and lenefie with contentation 
to se your commendable desire appeased ; and the pleasaunt 
memorie of your vallaunt &ctes shall beguile my pensive 
thoughtes, hopyng that our nexte meetyng shall bee more 
joyfull and glad, then this our partyng shall be either heavle or 

The ladies aunswere did wonderftilly quiet the mynde of 


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Silyanufi ; and callyng his hoste the sexten unto hym, whom he 
had made partaker of his determinations, he departed, leavyng 
his wife suche money and jewelles as thei had remainyng. And 
eommyng to the eourte of the Emperour Claudius he was very 
well entertained, and the rather for that the Emperour had 
greate neede of menne to supply his armie, whiche had sus- 
tained sondrie conflictes, and divers overthrowes ; for the 
Tarke did wonderfully incroche upon the Emperour, and had 
taken sondrie cities, tonnes, and castelles from hym, and was 
like still every daie more to prevaile then other, that now the 
Emperour beganne to repent hym of the slender accoumpte he 
had made of souldiours in the ty me of peace, for that he had 
too fewe that were su£Bcient to serve him in his warres : for in 
steede of Experience, Valiaunce, and Policie, (whiche three 
ought to be govemours, commaunders, and cheef officers in a 
campe) he was glad to preferre Vainglorie, Foolishehardinesse, 
and Bashnesse, simple sottes that were more fitter to waite in 
gentlewomans'* chambers, then to be made captaines, or leaders 
in the warres. 

The Emperour now standyng in greate distresse for want of 
menne, for those that he had made greatest accompt of in the 
tyme of peace were now able to stande him in no steede in the 
tyme of warres, and those that had braved it up and doune 
the eourte in the newe cuttes, straunge fashions, their haire 
friseled, lookyng with suche grisly and terrible countenaunces, 
enough to make a wiseman beleeve thei were cleane out of their 
wittes, now in the tyme of warres were glad to runne under a 
gentlewoman'^s &rthyngall to hide them. 

The Emperour (I saie) beeyng thus perplexed, called to his 
remembraunce the injurie that he had doen Sappho, whom he 
had banished onely to satisfie the willes of those that were 
aboute hym, whiche he knewe did hate hym more of spight 
then for any occasion the Duke had given. Without any 
farther delaie, therefore, the Emperour sent sondrie messengers 
into every parte of Christendome, to make inquirie that whoso- 


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ever could finde the Doke, shoald bee worthily recompenoed, 
and those proclamations were spread through every region, in 
citie, towne, and village. In so muche that in this parishe 
where the Duke remained sexten, as yon have heard, the priest 
made inquirie on Sondaie in the chnrehe (as the cnstome is) 
that where as aboate fourteene or fifteene yeares sithence the 
Duke of Mantona was banished by die Emperour, whiche was 
procured rather by envie then for any deeerte, as now it was 
proved ; who so ever, therefore, could give any intelligence of 
the said Duke, should bee verie liberally recompensed by the 

The sexten now hearyng these newes, did thinke it more 
better to live still in his sexten'^s rome, where he remained 
without envie, then to become againe the Duke of Mantona, 
subjecte to the spite of hateAill personee ; but callyng to his 
mynde his wife and daughter, which he thought remained yet 
alive, (although he knewe not where) and for the greate love 
that he bare to Silvanus, whose wife remained in his house (as 
you heard) seeyng that Fortune olSered hym so good opportu- 
nitie to pleasure them, onely for their sakes, resolved hymself 
to goe to the Emperour. But firste comfortyng his geste 
Valerya, whom for a tyme he should leave in his house onely 
with suche servauntes as herself had aboute her, he tolde her 
that he was well assured where to finde this Duke, that was so 
muche inquired after, and that he doubted not (if it were but 
in respecte of his good newes) he should woorke Silvanus, her 
housbande, into some credite with the Duke, who might like- 
wise procure his better preferment with the Emperour. 

And thus the sexten departed, and with all convenience 
came to the courte of the Emperour, to whom when he had 
made hym self knowne, he was moste honourably received, and 
greate joye and gladnesse was made throughout the whole 
courte : the Emperour now, in consideration of the injurie 
he had doen hym, did not onely restore hym to his former 
rome and dignitie, but also advaunced hym in honour and 


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eBtimation, to be preferred before all other next nnto hym- 

Thus after many benefites received of the Emperour, the 
Duke prepared hymsdf, accompanied with many his freendes, 
to goe to the Emperonr^s eampe, of the whiche he was made 
general], where he knewe well how to behare himself; and 
gi^^g out newe ordinaonees, he appointed certaine snche as 
he hymself knewe worthie, and gave them charge ; emongest 
the reste, seeying Silvanos, who all this while remained in the 
earape^ whom the Dnke did very well knowe, although Sil- 
vanns did little suspeefce that a poore sexten of a parishe 
riionld become a general to an Emperonr^s army. The Duke, 
pereeivyng hymself to bee nnknowne to Silvanus, was con- 
tented so to remains for a tyme ; but yet desirous to see what 
was in hym, he gave hym the leadyng of certaine horsemen, 
with the whiche Silvanus served so valiauntly, and there with 
all had so happie successe, that every manne extolled up to 
the heavens the worthinesse of Silvanus. This pleased the 
Dnke paasyng well, and the Duke havyng now sondrie tynies 
incountred with the power of the Turkes, and had given them 
many overthrowes, he was now preparyng a greate force for 
the reooverie of the citie of Cayoe, the whiche the Turkes 
had taken before from the Emperour ; and callyng Silvanus 
mito hym, he saied, ^* Gk>d graudt, yong gentleman, that your 
code agree with your good beginnyngf^ then makyng Sil- 
vanus to kneele, he dubbed him knight, and made him colonell 
of twentie ensignes. 

Silvanus, after he had dooen his reverence, thanked the 
Duke of the honour and £ftvour whiche it had pleased hym to 
dooe hym, promisyng to dooe so weU in tyme to come, as he 
should not bee deceived in his conceived opinion : whereof he 
gave assured testimonie at the assaulte that was given to the 
dtie before mentioned, where he behaved hym self so valiantly, 
as he was the first that mounted upon the walles, and by his 
dexteritie and invincible force made waie to the souldiours in 

E 2 


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the breache, whereby thei entered and tooke the citie, killyn^ 
and driyyng out their enemies before theim. In many suche 
like attemptes Silvanus still shewed hymself so noble and ya- 
liaunt, that his praise and renowme was sonnded in every place. 

The Dake now havyng recovered againe all suche cities, 
townes, and other fortes, whiche the Turke had before taken 
from the Emperour, and there with all had banished the 
Turkes from out the boundes and borders of the empire, and 
a league agreed upon betweene the Emperour and the Turke, 
the armie beeyng broken up, and souldiours discharged, every 
manne well recompensed for his service, accordyng as he had 
deserved, Silvanus likewise, who by his worthinesse havyng 
not onely made himself &mous to the world, but also had 
well lined his purse with good store of golde, bethinkyng hym 
now of his faire ladie, came to the Duke to have taken his 
leave ; but the Duke, mindyng now to performe the good that 
he ment to Silvanus, was resolved in his minde that Silvanus, 
with his wife, should bee his gestes, as well at Mantona, 
where he was Duke, as thei had been before, where he was but 
a sexten, saied to Silvanus as foUoweth. 

" Sir knight, what haste is this, that you would so sodainly 
withdraw your self from out my companie i Belike you have 
some faire wife, to whom you make suche speede to be gone. 
But, sir, content yourself to beare me companie to the Em- 
perour''s courte, where I doubt not but you shall receive some 
better recompence for your service so happely begunne, for it 
is not requisite but that the vertue of valiaunce ought to bee 
rewarded and cherished by princes that be aided in their ne- 
eessitie, with the diligence of suche vertuous and noble gen- 
tlemen as your self.^^ Silvanus, greatly comforted with these 
wordes of the Duke, was well pleased to waite upon hym. 
Thus thei tooke their journey towardes the greate citie of 
Chirona, whiche was in the uttermoste borders of the Em- 
perour's dominions : there the Duke purposed to staie awhile, 
to recreate hymself with the rest of his companie. 


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Now, it fortuned that the yaliaunt actes and hautie enter- 
prises of Sil^anus were so renowned and spredde, that the same, 
therefore, came to the eares of the Duke of Vasconya, that was 
&ther to Valerya, the wife of Silvanus, who with all possible 
c^ede made suche haste, that he came to Cherona, where he 
foande Silvanns in the companie of the Duke of Mantona, to 
whom tumyng hymself, he saied as foUoweth. 

" Sir Duke, the onely hope that I have, that you will not 
let to extende justice upon the mischeevous and ungratious 
actes of wicked menne, doth let me at this instant to forbeare, 
with myne owne handes, to avenge the wrong that I assure 
myself to have received of this traitour, Silvanus.**^ 

The companie were wonderAilly abashed with these wordes, 
but especially the Duke of Mantona, who loved Silvanus more 
dearly then any other. 

But the other goyng still forwardes in his tale, said : " If the 
harte breake that ai&icteth the soule of a wofuU &ther, whose 
house is .made desolate by loosyng his child, by the mis- 
ehivous inticementes of a theefe — ^if this president, I saie, 
move you not to minister suche speedie revenge as the lawe 
doetJi prescribe, I suppose that all impuuitie of vite and sinne 
hath place on your behalf.'^ And there with al staiying his 
talke, but yet by his gesture and countenance so inraged, that 
he seemed like a man that were besides hymself. 

The Duke of Mantona now perceivyng the matter, that 
Valerya was the daughter of the Duke of Vasconya, whom he 
supposed to have been of some meane birthe and parentage, 
was wonderftilly sorie for Silvanus, whose fiicte by the lawe 
deserved death ; and seyng the Duke in suche a furie, he wiste 
not by what meanes to worke Silvanus safetie. For to intreate 
the Duke he thought it but vaine, and to bryng Silvanus to 
aunswere the &cte, he knewe the lawe would condemne him, 
and therefore knowyng where Valerya did remaine, whom he 
knewe did love Silvanus as her owne life, and thinkyng that 
her teares might lenifie and soften the hardened harte of 


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the Duke her &ther, he therefore prively sent for her, to bee 
brought immediatly to the eitie of Gherona. In the meane 
tyme he committed Silranos into safe custodie, and desired 
the Duke, at his request, to staie hymself a while, and he 
should have suche justice on Silvanus as hymself would 

Matters beeyng thus pacified for a while, I mil, in like 
case, lette them rest for a tyme, and will now discourse how it 
befell to the Dutches Messilina, with her daughter Phylene. 

You haye heard before how, by constraint of weather at the 
sea, thei were driven to this citie of Cherona, where the Duke 
now remained, and at her first commyng, follyng to her worke 
as before she had doen at Taryfia, a riche marchaunt thai 
dwelte in the towne, takyng the viewe of this newe come 
workewoman, fell into so greate a likyng with her, that onely 
to have accesse to come into her companie, he bestowed more 
money in cloathe to make hym shirtes and handcarchifes in 
one weeke, then he wae able to weare out in three yeares after, 
whiohe he put to her to make, whereby he became somethyng 
well acquainted with her; but to the ende that she might 
thinke her self something the better beholdjrng unto hym, he 
proffered her a more convenient house then that she was in, 
whiche he would fiimishe with all manor of householde stuffe 
for a reasonable rent. She, beeyng very glad of so good an 
offer, became his tenaunt. The marchaunt now perceivyng 
his tyme did so well serve hym, without any greate circum* 
staunce, declared unto her the greate good will he bare her ^ 
but Messilina so delaied hym with suche wise and reasonable 
aunsw^rs, that from tyme to tyme the marchant hymself 
eould not importunately crave that, whiche with suche mo* 
destie she so h<mestly denaied him. 

Now, there laie in this citie of Cherona the olde Dutches of 
Petrona, who havyng inteligence of Messilina to be so good 
a woorkewoman, she sent for her, to whom she put sondrie 
parcelles of woorke ; whiche she so well finished to the likyng 


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of the Dutches, that from time to time she still plide her with 
the like, whereby Messilina, with her daughter Phylene, had 
continuall recourse to the pallas of the Dutches, where Ara- ^' , 
bianus, the onely sonne of the Duches of Petrona (and inhe- 
ritour of the dukedome, but that he was under age) did 
marke and behold the beautie and good grace of this yong 
seamester, Phylene, was so clogged and fettered in the bandea 
of love, that all other thoughtes seemed lothsome unto hym, 
and every other joye displeasaunt, in respecte of the pleasure 
that he suffered by thitlkyng of his fidre Phylene : wherefore 
baityng hymself with hope, and tickled onely by love, he de* 
termined, what soever happened, to love her. 

Whiche beyng perceived by his mother, she began very 
sharpely to rate hym, blamyng hym that would so indisoretly 
place his love, not waiying his estate and birthe, as come of 
princely race, and now would make hymself a &ble to the 
worlde, to like of sttche a one so farre unworthie his degree. 

Arabianus, £ftllyng downe upon his knees, moste humbly 
desired his mother to beare with all that was paste, and 
although it were truthe that she had saied, that he deemed 
her for her birthe to be unworthie his degree, yet she de<» 
served for her beautie to be compared to the greatest dame 
and bravest minion els where. And whereas other girles, by 
artificiall meanes and trumperies, doe inforce that whiche the 
heavens have denaid them, yet Phylene had no other orna- 
ment then that whiche nature had inlarged in her ; and other* 
wise for her vertue, wisedome, and modeetie, he knewe it to 
suche, by reporte of many, as she might bee a lanteme to the 
greatest dame that lived. 

*^ Notwithstandyng, madam, for so muche as you doe take 
my facte in so ill parte, consideryng the reverence that I owe 
to the place whiche you holde on my behaulf, and the duetie 
and obedience that God will, and hath commaunded, that 
children should beare to those that have begotten and borne 
them, if it please you to pardon me of this that is past, I pro- 


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test that from hence foarthe I will bee more wise, and better 
advised, how I enter into anything that might tame to any 
Buche consequence, or any maner of waies to offende you.** 

The Dutches, knowyng all to be true that her sonne had 
saied, very well pleased with his speeches, remained satisfied, 
thmkyng in her mynde, in deede, that if Phylene had bin the 
daughter but of some meane gentleman, her sonne should 
never have sought &rther for a wife. 

From this tyme forwardes, although Arabianus, by the 
perswasion of his mother, had vowed tb revolt and let slip the 
love that he bare to Phylene, yet he could not so clearely 
loose his likyng, but that he did manifest some parte of hia 
good will by giftes and good countenaonces whiche still he 
bestowed upon Phylene, causing his mother likewise to 
bestowe many liberaU rewardes upon Messilina: thus the 
mother and the daughter perceived them selves a thousande 
tymes beholdyng to the olde Dutches and her sonne. 

In this meane space the marchaunt, before mentioned, had 
buried his wife, and knowyng no other but that Messilina, his 
tenaunte, had bin a widowe, he began now a freshe sute, and 
with greate importunitie requested her in the waie of manage ; 
and so hardly he laied unto her, that Messilina, not knowyng 
otherwise how to rid hym, confessed unto hym that she had a 
housbande alive, and therefore might not marie. 

The marchaunt, thinkyng these to bee but delaies to shift 
hym of, came to this pointe, that if hereafter he could prove 
her, by her owne confession, to bee a widowe, that then 
before witnesse she would take hym for her lawfull hous- 
bande ; and till that tyme he would no farther trouble her 
till he had made his profe. She beyng glad to be at rest, 
thinkyng that he should woorke very wisely to make her con- 
fesse her self to bee a widowe, agreed to his request, and wit- 
nesse was had in the matter. The marchaunt, now letting his 
matter rest a tyme for his better purpose, in the ende com- 
myug unto her, he tolde her, that although she were so dis- 


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coiirteoTis to forsake his frendshippe in every reapecte, first in 
the waie of good fellowshippe, and after in the waie of mar- 
riage, whereby he was driven to goe seeke farther, but now 
havyng fonnde a wife in the countrey, to whom he was assured, 
and ment presently to be married, »yet for the olde freedshippe 
that he bare her, consideryng that he would presently remaine 
in the countrey altogether, and forsake the citie, therefore, for 
her better securitie, and assuraunce of her dwellyng, he would 
make her a lease of the house that she dwelte in for one and 
twentie yeres, if it might doe her any pleasure, without paiyng 
any penie income. 

Messilina, givyng hym greate thankes, tooke his offer verie 
courteouslie, and the lease was put to makyng, which the 
marchaunt signed and delivered ; and here withall desired her 
single obligation for the performance of some small rente, were 
it never so little, that she might acknowledge hym to bee her 
landlorde, the whiche she never denaied to give. 

The obligation was made in this manor :-;-'^ Knowe all men 
by this presentes, that I, Messilina, widowe,^^ and so forthe, 
with wordes in maner and forme of every obligation. This 
obligation, thus made, was signed and delivered by Messilina 
to the marchaunte, who had now gotten that so long he had 
sought for, and by vertue of this obligation craved Messilina 
to bee his wife, she denaiyng his demaiinde. But what could 
that prevaile, when he had her owne hande and scale to shewe, 
whereby she confessed her self a widowe, and then by her 
owne agrement (as you have heard before) she must yeeld her 
self to be his wife. This matter was long in fendyng and 
proving, in so muche that the Duke beyng now in the toune, 
ministryng of justice to suche as would crave it, the mar- 
chaunt brought the matter before the Duke, who hearyng the 
maner of the bargaine, and so many witnesses to affirrae the 
same, gave sentence that the marchaunte ought in deede to 
have her. But Messilina, fallyng at the feete of the Duke, 
desiryug him with teares to deferre his judgement, the Duke 


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now taking better vewe of the woman, knowjmg her bothe by 
her voyce, and also by lookyng well on her face, perceived 
assuredly that it was his own wife, he called againe to the 
marchannte to see his obligation ; whiche when he had re- 
ceived, he said in this manner. 

^^ Maister marchannt, this obligation which yon have deli* 
vered me, now I have perused with better advise, I finde it to 
bee neither sufficient nor lawfull, for this woman that you 
would make a widowe without doubte is maried, and hath a 
housbande: now, she beyng under covert bame, your obli* 
gation is unpleadable ; and I knowe not who you should blame, 
whether yourself or the scrivener.^ And here withall, beeyng 
replete with greate joye and gladnesse, takyng his wife up in 
his armes, very lovyngly imbraced her, he said. 

'^ Ah, my deare and lovyng wife ! how muche am I bounde 
to render innumerable thankes to the Almightie God, that 
when all hope was paste, have yet againe recovred my greatest 
hope and comforte.'*^ Messilina, likewise perceivyng her lorde 
and housebande, daspyng her handes about his necke, was 
not able to speake a woorde for joye and contentation : the 
companie that stoode by, amased to see this sodaine happe^ 
were likewise verie joyiuU to see this freendly meetyng. The 
marchaunt, seyng how he had been deceived, tare his obliga- 
tion, and departed all ashamed. The Duke now, desirous to 
see his daughter Phylene, caused her mother to sonde for her, 
who not knowyng her father otherwise then by reporte, fell 
doune on her knees to crave his blessyng. The Duke takyng 
her up, kissyng her with &therlie affection, could not staie his 
teares in remembryng her brother Aurelianus, whom he 
deemed to be dedde. 

These newes were sodainly spred throughout the citie of 
Cherona, in so muche that Arabianus, havyng now intelligence 
that Philene was the daughter of the noble Duke Sa^ho, 
certifiyng his mother the truthe whiche he had learned, with- 
out any greate deliberation, bothe the mother and the sonne 


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eommyng io vimte the Duke and his coropanie, where thei 
were very well welcomed, bat especially by Messilina, to whom 
the olde Duches and her sonne bothe had been verie boun- 
tifiill ; and when awhile thei had passed the tyme with plea^ 
saunt disconrses of all that had passed, the Duches of Petrona 
craved Philene in manage for her sonne. The Duke beyng 
made priyie to the matter, knowyng Arabianus to bee come of 
greate discent, and to bee indued with large and £ure posses- 
sions, seyng hym likewise to bee a toward yong gentleman, 
would not stande againste it, but referred the matter to his 
dau^hter^s likyng. Philene, who had been greatly bounde to 
the courtesie of the yong Duke, and had received many giftes 
and good tumes at his handes, would not doe as a nomber of 
these nise dames, that will many tymes make daintie of that 
thei would fsunest come by, gave her free consent. There was 
then no more to do but to prepare for the manage, which was 
presently solemnized with greate pompe and glorie. 

By this Valeria (whom, as you have heard before, the Duke 
had sent for) was come to Gherona, who was prively lodged, 
by the Duke^s commaundment, in a privie place. The daie 
now beeyng come that Silyanus was brought to his auu'*' 
iiwere, he could not denaie the fiK^te wherewith he was charged, 
but that he had stolne Valeria from her &ther, by whiche con* 
fession tho lawe condemned hym to dye. There were many 
that knewe the noblenesse of Silyanus, that began to entreate 
the Duke of Vasconia to remit the facte ; but all in vaine, 
for the more thei entreated, the more he hastened to see 

The Duke of Mantona, seeyng his greate obstinacie, did 
thinke it hye tyme to finde a remedie for Silyanus if it might 
bee : therefore he-saied, ^^ Sir Duke, were it possible that this 
condemned manne, who is like (so &rre as I can see) to beare 
the whole brunte, and yet might bee enticed to this facte by 
your daughter's meanes, or, at the leaste, your daughter muste 
bee halfe partner of this &ulte, and yeelded with her good 

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will to come awaie, for otherwise it had been unposstble for 
hym to have brought her from out your courte ; whiche if it 
bee true, if you will needes see justice so duely executed in 
the one, I can not see how your daughter can goe quite, but 
must bee as well partaker of the punishement, as she was in 
the fecte by yeeldyng her consent.'^ 

The Duke of Vasconia aunswerd. *^ As it is*the office and 
duetie of every good justicer to knowe the valour and difference 
betweene vertue and vice, to the ende that all vertuous actes 
may bee honoured, and the contrary chastised and punished, 
otherwise he is not worthy the name of a righteous judge, bat 
of a cruell and traitorous tyrant ; wherefore, Sir Duke, you 
sittyng here in the place of justice, to minister equitie and 
right to every one that calleth, then I desire that I maie 
have the lawe extended uppon this wretche, Silvanus. As for 
my daughter that you speake of, as I knowe not where she is, 
so I doe not desire to leame what is become of her ; but this 
I protest, that if ever I maye finde her, rather then she 
should escape unpunished, I will not let with myne owne 
handes to do execution upon her, accordyng to her demerites, 
and the filthinesse of her &cte, from henceforthe denouncyng 
her to bee any child of myne, and make no better accoumpt of 
her otherwise then to bee a filthie strompet, unworthy of me, 
her father, or to chalenge her descent from suche a stocke.**^ 

•The Duke of Mantona was now troubled worse then before, 
for where as he had some hope that the humble sute of Valeria 
should somethyng have mooved her father to compassion, he 
now thought that her sight would rather increase his rage and 
Airie. Againe he thought, that to bryng her into his presence, 
if he continued in one moode, he might woorke Valeria se 
greate prejudice, as he would be hartely sorie to see; yet 
thinkjmg with himself, that it was impossible that a &ther 
should be so voyde of good nature, to see the utter mine of 
his childe without any remorse, he caused Valeria to bee 
sent for ; who beeyng conducted to the place, seeyng her &ther 

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and the reste of the companie, she beganne to conjecture that 
all was not well ; but when Silvanus sawe his Valeria, won- 
dering by what meanes she was brought to so eviU a banquette 
remembryng what woordes her father before had protested, he 
began with a piteous voice to crie out — • 

" O, my deare, beloved wife ! the onely cause of my joye 
and quiete ! what evill fortune hath conducted thee to this 
place ! what froward &tes have forced thee, that thou shouldest 
be made a companion of my mishappes ? O fraile and incon- 
stant fortune ! how hast thou fronted my honest desires with 
such a crooked spight, that where I covet the countenaunce 
of greatest credite, there I am forced to hazard the losse of 
life, and all what crooked aspecte hath governed my procead- 
ynges, that the hoped tyme I spente in this warlike service 
should thus conclude with his contrary, and I forced as it 
were by fate to followe the unhappie event of the same, 
wherein I doe confesse my predestinate follies. But suche are 
the sonderie dealynges of this life, as those that tende their 
steppes to monsterous mountaines doe sometyme scarce con- 
clude with meane moole hilles, the sondrie conflictes of for- 
tune maskyng my hope with a shewe of happie reward, hath 
not onely wracked me, but it threateneth the sequell of worse 
successe, that insteade of happie and quiet life, my daies 
shalbe abridged with moste shamefuU and vile death. O^ Va- 
leria, the joye and oomforte of my life ! I shall no more see 
that incomparable beautie of thyne, -whiche darkeneth and 
obscureth the rayes and beames of the sunne.*" 

Then, toumyng hymself to the Duke of Vasconia, he said, 
** I moste humbly beseche your grace to have compassion 
upon me : not for that I would consume my life in your dis- 
pleasure, I make offer of the same to your mercifiill will and 
disposition, choosyng rather to dye, and to leave your grace 
satisfied and contented, then to live a happie life, your princely 
niinde displeased ; and albeit the right good intente and un- 
stained conscience is free from faute, yet the judgemente of 


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menne hath fiirther relation to the exterioar appearance then 
to yertae^s force. Is it a synne to marrie t — ^is it a feulte to 
flye and avoyde the synne of whoredome t What biwes be 
these, then, where tike marriage bedde and joyned matrimonie 
ia pursued with like severitie as murther, thefte, adulterief 
But seeyng the &ult of this mishap to arise by my predes- 
tinate evill lucke, I moste humbly beseohe you to mitigate your 
rage, and to conceiye no sinister opinion of this your worthie 
daughter, whose smallest greef is my double paine. As for 
my self, I am well pleased with my misfortune, contented to 
sacrafice my life onely to receive your cleare acquitaunce of 
my offence, and will make satisfiiction with the price of my 

The Duke of Vasconia, bendjmg his browes, aunswered. 
^^ No, traitour, no ; it is not thy life that shall appease my 
forie, but I will so coole the whorishe heate of your minion, 
for whome you seeme so muche to pleade, that I will make 
. her an example to all others for doojmg of an acte so detest- 
able. But what abuse have thei comitted under the title of 
marriage, thinkyng, without remorse of conscience, by that 
meanes to continue their mischeef ; and their promise and 
futhe, that was made under a bushe, muste serre for a cloake 
and visarde for their moste filthie whoredome. But what if 
theii: marriage were concluded and confirmed by God hym* 
self, is Silranus a manne worthy to be alied or mingled with 
the royall blood of the house of Vasconia! No, no : I vowe I 
will never take sound nor restfoU slope, untill I have dis- 
patched that in&mous fiicte from our blood, and that vil- 
laine whoremonger, with his trull, be used accordyng to their 

Valeria now knowyng how matters were sorted out, and 
hearying this cruell sentence pronounced by her &ther, fell 
doune uppon her knees, and bitterly criyng out, she saied. 
*^ My deare father, most humbly I beseche you, sithe no otixet 
thing maie appease your ire then the life of the offender, let 


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not this gentleman abide the penaunce of that vhiche he never 
eommitted ; be reyenged on me, by whom the fiinlte (if a 
woman'*s iaithe to her honBebande maie be termed a fiiult) is 
doCT, and lette this unfortunate gentleman depart, who, God 
knowes, is innocente of any other crime then what he was 
brought into onely by my provocation.'^ And as she was 
sbonte to have proeeded further in her talke, her &ther inter- 
rupted her, saiyng-— 

** Have you founde your tongue now, pretie peate! then wee 
most have an almon for parrat. How durst thou, etrom- 
pette, chalenge me to bee thy &ther! That without regarde 
either of my renowne, or of the honour of my house, thou art 
content to bee abandoned from this noble estate, and to be- 
come a fugitive and a strannger, to follows a rooge up and 
downe the countrey. No, minion, no : thinke not that any 
feminine flatterie shall staie me from doyng thee to death, nor 
your darlyng that standee by ^ou shall escape with his life, 
voely beleevyng that in tyme it shall be knowne what profite 
the worlde shall gains, by puTgying the same of suche an in- 
fi^cted plague. And I doe hope, besides this, that in tyme to 
come mome shall praise this deede of myne, who, for pre- 
senyng the honour of my house, have chosen rather to dooe to 
death twoo offendours, then to leave the one of them alive, as 
lease fiiultie or giltlesse then the other.^ 

Valeria, once againe fiJlyng prostrate before her &ther, saied, 
*^ I moete humbly beseche you, for that all other comforte is 
denaied me, that I maie crave this onely grace at your handes, 
for the lasts good that ever I hope to receive : which is, that 
you beeyng thus greevouslie offended with me, dooe venge- 
anuce at your pleasure uppon her, who willingly yeeldeth her- 
self to the death, with the effntion of her blood to satifie your 
ire, graunte onely that Silvanus, who is innocente and free 
from &ult, maie goe quite.^' 

But her &ther, no longer able for anger to heare her speake, 
erieth out to the Duke to haste the execution. The Duke of 


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Mantona, whose harte did bleede in his beallie for sorrowe, 
perceivyng it follie to delaye longer tyme, gave sentence of 
death, and present execution to be made, although he tooke so 
greate sorrow for them, as if his daughter Philene should have 
borne them companie : but he was not able to helpe it, the 
lawes and ordinaunces of the countrey would not otherwise 
permit ; and thinking to take his laste ferewell of Silyanus, he 
saied. " O, Silvanus ! the glorie and honour of all yong gen- 
tlemen that ever were, that bee now, or shall be hereafter this, 
whose vertue, valliaunce, and worthie ezploites, doe glister 
emongst the multitude, as the sunne beames doe upon the 
cirquet of the yearth. Oh ! that thy harde fortune should 
conducte thee to euche distresse, that onely by thyne owne 
valiaunce and prowesse hast escaped so many daungers 
emongst thy thronged enemies, and now thy ruine and oyer- 
throwe should bee thus wrought, amiddest thy assured frendes, 
that know not how to helpe it. What heapes of cares hath 
besieged me on every side ! To thinke that I should crave 
thy companie, whereby thou art brought into the middest of 
fio greate mischeef, which otherwise mightest have escaped 
this mishappe ! and thou, Valeria, would God thy unfortunate 
hoste, whiche departed from thee, think'yng to dooe thy house- 
band pleasure, had remained with thee a poore sexten still, till 
this present daie ! 

The reste of the companie that stoode by, hearing the Duke 
to make so greate lamentation, was likewise striken into a 
marvailous greef and sorowe, in so muche that every one that 
durste speake, cried to the Duke of Vasconia for pardon, and 
that he would remitte the offence, and what pitie it were if he 
should seeke the death of so noble a gentleman as Silvanus 
had shewed hymself to bee. But' the Duke, persevering still 
in one mynde, asked them with what &ce thei could make 
request for a verlet of no reputation, whom he had founde in 
the wooddes, and brought hym up to that estate he was come 
to, not knowyng who was his father, but by seemyng some poore 


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eonntry cloane ; and forgettyng hym self from whence he 
sprong, neglectyn^ so many benefites which he had bestowed 
upon him, would enter into those thynges, so fiirre unseemely, 
and exceeding his degree. 

The Duke of Mantona, givyng good eare to this tale, re- 
membryng his soonne Aurelianus, whom he had loste in the 
woodos about those partes, questioned with the Duke of the 
tyme, and what apparell the child had on at that present, who 
in all thinges shewed a trothe as it was. He demanded, &r- 
ther, how he knewe his name to be Silvanus, or whether he 
had any other name ? " Yes (% the Duke of Vasconia) his 
name, he said, was Aurelianus, whiche my self changed to 
Silvanus, because I founde hym in the wooddes. 

Here withall, without any &rther staie, the Duke of Man- 
tona, runnyng hastely uppon Silvanus, imbracing hym in his 
armes, crying, ^^ O, my soonne ! my soonne !^^ and with this 
sodain joye the teares trickled doune his cheekes so fast, that 
he was not &rther able to speake one woorde. 

The Duke of Vasconia, muche amazed to see this sight, but 
a greate deale more gladde that Silvanus had founde out suche 
a &ther, and now nothyng at all offended with his daughter's 
choyce, came likewise with chearfuU countenance and im- 
brased Silvanus, desiring bothe the Duke his father and hym- 
self to forgive what was past ; and takyng Valerya by the 
handa, he delivered her to Silvanus, promisyng hym for her 
dowrie 40,000 franckes in golds, presently to be paied, and 
after his decease to remaine for his inheritour. 

Silvanus, better pleased with Valerya her self then with al 
the rest that was promised, gave hym greate thankes, and so 
did the Duke his £ftther. 

All the companie were replenished with the greatest joie 
that might be to see this sodaine sight, and thus thei de- 
parted to the pallas, where the Duke kepte his abode, where 
Silvanus was welcomed to his mother, to his sister, to Ara- 
bianus, and to all the rest, where there was greate feastyng 


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and triumph, and a bonde of everlastyng amitie betwene the 
houses of the Duke of Mantona, the Duke of Vasconya, and 
the Duke' of Petrona; and after a whjle thei had feasted and 
sported them selves, thei rode altogether in companie to the 
Emperour^s courte, who received them with so greate honour 
as he could devise, and makyng hym self a partaker of their 
mirthe, wondefyng to here the hole discourse how thynges 
had happened. When after a while he had feasted them, and 
shewed them as greate pleasures as might be devised, he be- 
stowed of them al large and bountiftill giftes, but especially of 
the two yong ladies, Valerya and Phylene ; and thus agreyng 
amongest them selves to meete once a yeare, at the least, to 
sporte and make themselves merrie, for this season thei 
departed, every one where it lyked them beste. 


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Apdmiui Duke, hafcyng spent a yeres sermee in the ttarree 
o^ainH the Turks, returning komward with his eampanie by 
sea, was driven by farce of weather Ui the lie of Cypres, where 
he was well received by Pontus, ffouvemour of the same He, 
with whom Silla, daughter to Pontus, fell so straungdy in lave, 
that after Apdonius was departed to Constantinople, Silla, 
with one man, followed, and ccmmyng to Constantinople, she 
served Apolonius in the habite of a manne, and after many 
prety accidenies faliiny out, she was knowne to Apolonius, wko, 
in requitcM of her love, maried her. 

■ There is no child that is borne into this wretched worlde, 
bat before it doeth sacke the mother^s milke, it taketh first a 
soope of the cupp of errour, which maketh us, when we come 
to riper yeres, not onely to enter into actions of injurie, but 
many tymes to stnue from that is right and reason ; but in all 
other thinges, wherein wee shewe onr selyes to bee moste 
dronken with this poisoned cappe, it is in our actions of love ; 
for the lover is so estranged from that is right, and wandereth 
80 wide from the boondes of reason, that he is not able to deeme 
white from blacke, good from badde, vertue from vice; but 
onely led by the apetite of his owne affections, and groundyng 
them on the foolishnesse of his owne fancies, will so settle his 
likyng on such a one, as either by desert or unworthinesse jnll 
merite rather to be loathed then loved. 



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If a question might be asked, what is the ground in deede 
of reasonable love, whereby the knot is knit of trae and perfect 
freendship, I thinke those that be wise would answere — de- 
serte : that is, where the partie beloved dooeth requite us with 
the like ; for otherwise, if the bare shewe of beautie, or the 
comelinesse of personage might bee sufficient to confirme us in 
our love, those that bee accustomed to goe to faires and 
markettes might sometyroes iall in love with twentie in a daie : 
desert must then bee (of force) the grounde of reasonable love; 
for to love them that hate us, to followe them that flie from 
us, to faune on them that froune on us, to currie favour with 
them that disdaine us, to bee glad to please theim that care not 
how thai offende us, who will not confesse this to be an erro- 
nious love, neither grounded uppon witte nor reason ! Wher- 
fore, right curteous gentilwomen, if it please you with pacience 
to peruse this historie following, you shall see Dame Errour so 
plaie her parte with a leishe of lovers, a male and twoo femalles, 
as shall woorke a wonder to your wise judgement, in notyng 
the effecte of their amorous devises, and conclusions of their 
actions : the firste neclectvng the love of a noble dame, yong, 
beautiftill, and faire, who onely for his good will plaied the 
parte of a serving manne, contented to abide any manor of 
paine onely to behold him : he again setting his love of a 
dame, that despysing hym (beeyng a noble Duke) gave her self 
to a servyng manne (as she had thought) ; but it otherwise 
fell out, as the substance of this tale shall better discribe. And 
because I have been somethyng tedious in my firste discourse, 
offending your pacient eares with the hearyng of a ciixumstaunce 
over long, from hence forthe, that whiche i minde to write 
shall bee dooen with suche celeritie, as the matter that I j»^- 
tende to penne maie in any wise permit me, and thus foUoweth 
the historie. 

During the tyme that the famous citie of Constantinople 
remained in the handes of Christians, emongst many other 
noble menne that kepte their abidjmg in that florishyng citie, 


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there was one whose name was Apolonius, a worthie duke, 
who beyng but a verie yong man, and even then newe come to 
his possessions, whiche were verie greate, levied a mightie 
bande of menne at his owne proper charges, with whom he 
served againste the Turke duryng the space of one whole jere : 
in whiche tyme, although it were very shorte, this yong Duke 
60 behaved hym self, as well by prowesse and valiaunce shewed 
with his owne handes, as otherwise by his wisdome and libe^ 
ralitie used towardes his souldiors, that all the worlde was 
filled with the feme of this noble Duke; When he had thus 
spent one yeares service, he caused his trompet to sounde a 
retraite, and gatheryng his companie together, and imbarkyng 
theim selves, he sette saile, holdyng his course towardes Con- 
stantinople : but, beeyng uppon the sea, by the extreamitie of 
a tempest whiche sodainly fell, his fleete was desevered, some 
one waie, and some another ; but he by mself recovered the Isle 
of Cypres, where he was worthily received by Pontus, duke 
and gouvemour of the same ile, with whom he lodged while 
his shippes were newe repairyng. 

This Pontus, that was lorde and govemour of this famous 
lie, was an auncient duke, and had twoo children, a soonne and 
a daughter : his soonne was named Silvio, of whom hereafter w6 
shall have Airther occasion to speake ; but at this instant he 
was in the partes of Africa, servyng in the warres. 

The daughter her name was Silla, whose beautie was so 
peerelesse, that she had the soveraintie emongest all other 
dames, aswell for her beautie as for the npblenesse of hir birthe. 
This Silla, having heai-d of the worthinesse of Apolonius, this 
yong Duke, who besides his beautie and good graces had a 
certaine naturall allurement, that beeyng now in his companie 
in her fether^'s courte, she was so strangely attached with the 
love of Apolonius, that there was nothyng might content her 
but his presence and sweete sight | and although she sawe no 
manor of hope to attaine to that she moste desired, knowyng 
Apolonius to be but a geaste, and readie to take the benefite 

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of the next winde, and to departe into a straunge countrej, 
whereby she was bereyed of all possibillitie ever to see hjm 
againe, and therefore strived with herself to leare her fonde- 
nessoy but all in vaine ; it would not bee, but, like the foule 
whiche is once limed, the more she striyeth, the fitster she 
tieth her self. So Silla was now constrained, perforce her 
will, to yeeld to lore, wherefore, from tjme to t jme, she used so 
^ate &miliaritie with hym as her honour might well permitte, 
and fedde him with suche amourous baites as the modestie of a 
maide could reasonably afforde ; whiche when she perceived did 
take but small effecte, feelyng herself so muche out raged with 
the extreamitie of her passion, by the onely countenaunoe that 
she bestowed uppon Apolonius, it might have been well per* 
ceived that the verie eyes pleaded unto hym for pitie and re- 
morse. Bat Apolonius, commyng but lately from out the 
feelde from the chasyng of his enemies, and his furie not yet 
throughly desolyed, nor purged from his stomacke, gaye no 
regarde to those amourous eniisementes, whiche, by reason of 
his youth, he had not been acquainted with all. But his 
minde ranne more to heare his pilotes bryng newes of a raerie 
winde to serve his tume to Gonstantinople, whiche in the ende 
came very prosperously; and givyng Duke Pontus hartie 
thankes for his greate entertaynment, takyng his leave of hym- 
self and the Ladie Silla, his daughter, departed with his 
companie, and with a happie gaale arived at his desired porte. 
Gentlewomen, accordyng to my promise, I will here, for bre- 
vities sake, omit to make repetition of the long and dolorous 
discourse recorded by Silla for this sodaine departure of her 
Apolonius, knowyng you to bee as tenderly hearted as Silla 
her self, whereby you male the better conjecture the fririe (^ 
her fever. But Silla, the ftu-ther that she sawe herself bereved 
of all hope ever any more to see her beloved Apolonius, so 
muche the more contagious were her passions, and made the 
greater speede to execute that she had j^remeditated in her 
mynde, which was this. Emongest many servants that did 


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attend uppon her, there was' one whose name was Pedro, who 
had a long tjme waited upon her in her chamber, wherby 
she was well assured of his fidelitie and trust : to that Pedrp 
therefore she bewraied first the fervencie of her love borne to 
Apolonius, conjuring hym in the name of the goddes of love 
herself^ and bindyng hym by the duetie that a servante ought 
to have, that tendereth his mistresse safetie and good likyng, 
and desiryng hym, with teares tricklyng doune her cheekes, 
that he would give his consent to aide and assiste her in that 
she had determined^ whiche was for that she was fully resolved 
to goeto Gonstantinople, where she might againe take the vewe 
of her beloved Apolonius, that he, accordyng to the trust she 
had reposed in hym, would not refuse to give his consent, 
secretly to convaie her from out her father's courte, accordyng 
as she should give hym direction, and also to make hym ^If 
pertaker of her journey, and to waite upon her till she had seen 
the ende of her determination; 

Pedro, perceivyng with what vehemencie his ladie and mis- 
tresse had made request unto hym, albeeit he sawe many perilles 
and doubtes dependyng in her pretence, notwithstandyng, 
gave his consent to be at her disposition, promisyng her to 
further her with his beste advice, and to be readie to obeye 
inrhatsoever she would please to commaunde him. The match 
beyng thus agreed upon, and all thynges prepared in a readi^ 
nesse for their departure, it happened there was a gallie of 
Constantinople readie to departe, whiche Pedro understandyng^ 
came to the captaine, desiryng him to have passage for hym- 
aelf a^d for a poore maide that was his sister, whiche were 
bounde to Gonstantinople uppon certaine urgent affaires : to 
whiche request the captaine graunted, vdllyng hym to prepare 
aborde with all speede, because the winde served hym pre- 
sently to departe. 

Pedro now commyng to his mistres, and tellyng her how he 
had handeled the matter with the captaine, she likyng verie 
well of the devise, disguisyng herself into verie simple atyre, 


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stole awaie from out her &ther^s court, and came with Pedro, 
whom now she calleth brother, aboarde the galleje, where all 
thynges beyng in readinesse, and the winde serryng yerie well, 
thei launched forthe with their oares, and set saile. When thei 
were at the sea, the ci^taine of the galleye, takyng the yewe 
of Silla, perceiyyng her singular beautie, he was better pleased 
in beholdjng of her face then in takyng the height either of 
the sunne or starre, and thinkyng her, by the homelinesse of 
her apparell, to be but some simple maiden, calling her into 
his cabin, he beganneto breake with her, after the sea fiishion, 
desiryng her to use his owne cabin for her better ease, and 
duryug the tyme that she remained at the sea, she should not 
want a bedde; and then, wisperyng softly in her eare, hesaied, 
that, for want of a bedfellow, he hym self would supplie that 
rome. Silla, not beyng acquainted with any suche talke, 
blusahed for shame, but made hym no aunswere at all. My 
captaine, feelyng suche a bickeryng within him sel^ the like 
whereof he had neyer indured upon the sea, was like to bee 
taken prisoner aboard his owne shippe, and forced to yeeld 
hymself a captiye without any cannon shot ; wherefore, to salye 
all sores, and thinkyng it the readiest waie to speed, he began 
to breake with Silla in the waie of mariage, tellyng her how 
happie a yoiage she had made, to &11 into the likyng of suche 
a one as hymself was, who was able to keepe and maintaine 
her like a gentilwoman, and for her sake would likewise take 
her brother into his fellowship, whom he would by some meanes 
prefarre in suche sorte, that bothe of theim should haye good 
cause to think theimselyes thrise happie, she to light of suche a 
housbande, and he to light of suche a brother. But Silla, no- 
thyng pleased with these prefermentes, desired hym to cease 
his talke, for that she did thynke her self in deede to bee too 
unworthie suche a one as he was, neither was she minded yet 
to marrie, and therefore desired hym to fixe his femcie uppon 
some that were better worthie then herself was, and that could 
better like of his curtesie then she could dooe. The captaine, 

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Beeyng hymself thus revised, beyng in a greate chafe, he saied 
as followeth. 

Then, seeyng you make so little accompte of my curtesie, 
proffered to one that is so farre unworthie of it, from hence- 
forthe I will use the office of my aucthoritie : you shall knowe 
that I am the captaine of this shippe, and have power to com- 
maunde and dispose of thynges at my pleasure ; and seyng 
you have so scornfully rejected me to be your loiall housbande, 
I will now take you by force, and use you at my will, and su 
long as it shall please me will keepe you for myne owne store ; 
there shall be no man able to defende you, nor yet to perswade 
me from that I have determined. 

Silla, with these wordes beyng strol^e into a greate feare, did 
thinke it now too late to rewe her rashe attempte, determined 
rather to dye with her owne handes, then to suffer hersdf to 
be abused in suche sorte ; therefore, she moste humbly desired 
the captaine, so muche as he could, to save her credite, and 
seyng that she must needes be at his will and disposition, 
that for that present he would depart, and suffer till night, 
when in the darke he might take his pleasure, without any 
maner of suspition to the residue of his companie. The cap- 
taine, thinkyng now the goale to be more then half wonne, was 
contented so &rre to satisfie her request, and departed out, 
leavyng her alone in his cabin. 

Silla, beyng alone by her self, drue oute her knife, readie to 
strike herself to the harrt, and, fallyng upon her knees, de- 
sired Ood to receive her soule, as an acceptable sacrifice for 
her follies, whiche she had so wilfully committed, cravyng 
pardon for her sinnes and so forthe, continuyng a long and 
pitifull reconciliation to God, in the middest whereof there 
sodainely fell a wonderfidl storme, the terrour whereof was 
suche, that there was no man but did thinke the seas would 
presently have swallowed them : the billowes so sodainly arose 
with the rage of the winde, that thei were all glad to fall to 
heaving out of water, fox otherwise their feeble gallie had never 


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bin able to have brooked the seas. This storme continued all 
that dale and the next night ; and thei beeyng driyen to put 

' romer before the winde, to keepe the gallie a bed the billowe, 
were driven uppon the maine shore, where the gailie brake all 
to peeces : there was every man providing to save his own 
life; some gat upon hatches, boordes, and casks, and were 
driven with the waves to and fro ; but the greatest nomber 
were drouned, amongst the whiche Pedro was one ; but SiUa 
her self beyng in the caben, as you have heard, tooke holde of 
a cheste that was the captaines, the whiche, by the onely pro- 
vidence of God, brought her safe to the shore, the whiche when 
she had recovered, not knowyng what was become of Pedro 
her manne, she deemed that bothe he and all the rest had been 
drouned, for that she sawe no bodie uppon the shore but her , 
self. Wherefore, when she had a while made greate lamenta- 
tions, complainyng her mishappes, she beganne in the ende to 
comforte herself with the hope that she had to see her Appo- 
lonius, and found suche meanes that she brake open the chest 
that brought her to lande, wberin she found good store of 
coine, and sondi^e sutes of apparell that were the captaines. 
And now, to prevent a nomber of injuries that might bee prof- 

I fered to a woman that was lefte in her case, she determined to 
leave her owne apparell, and to sort her self into some of those 
sutes, that, beyng taken for a man, she might passe through 
the countrie in the better safetie : and, as she changed her 
apparell, she thought it likewise convenient to change her 
name ; wherefore, not readily happenyng of any other, she 
called her self Silvio, by the name of her owne brother, whom 
you have heard spoken of before. 

In this manor she travailed to Constantinople, where she 
inquired out the palace of the Duke Apolonius ; and thinking 
herself now to be bothe fitte and able to plaie the servyngman, 
she presented herself to the Duke, cravyng his service. The 
Duke, verie willyng to give succour unto strangers, perceivyng 
him to bee a proper smogue yong man, gave hym entertaiu- 


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ment. Silla thought her aelf now more then satisfied for all 
the casaalties that had happened unto her in her journey, that 
she might at her pleasure take but the vew of the Duke 
Apolonins, and above the reste of his senrantes was yerie dili- 
gent and attendaunt uppon hjrm ; the whiche the Duke per* 
ceyyng, beganne likewise to growe into good likyng with the 
diligence of his man, and therefore made hym one of his cham- 
ber: who but Silvio then was moste neare aboute hym, in 
helpyug of hym to make hym readie in a momyng, in the 
settyng of his ruffes, in the keepyng of his chamber! Silvio 
pleased his maister so well, that above all the reste of his ser- 
Tantes aboute hym he had the greatest credite, and the Duke 
put him moste in trust. 

At this verie instaunt there was remainyng in the citie a 
noble Dame, a widowe, whose housebande^vas but lately de- 
cease da. one of the noblest men that were in the partes of 
Orecia, who left his lady and wife lai^e possessions and greate 
livinges. This ladies name was called Julina, who, besides the 
aboundance of her wealth and the greatnesse of her revenues, 
had likewise the soveraigntie of all the dames of Constantinople 
for her beautie. To this Ladie Julina Apolonius became an 
earnest suter ; and, accordyng to the manor of woers, besides 
fiure woordes, sorrowfiill sighes, and piteous countenaunces, 
there must bee sendyng of lovyng letters, chaines, bracelettes, 
brouohes, rynges, tablets, gemmes, juels, and presentes, I 
knowe not what. So my Duke, who in the tyme that he re- 
mained in the He of Gypres had no skill at all in the arte of 
love, although it were more then half proffered unto hym, was 
now become a schoUer in love's schoole, and had alreadie 
l eaned his fi rst lesson ; that is, to speake pitifully, to looke * 
ruthfiilly, to promise largely, to serve diligently, and to please 
carefully : now he was learnyng his seconde lesson ; that is, 
to reward liberally, to give bountifully, to present willyngly^ 
and to write lovyngly. Thus Apolonius was so busied in his 
newe studie, that I warrant you there was no man that could 


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chalenge hym for plaiyng the truant, he followed his profession 
with 80 good a will : and who must bee the messenger to carrie 
the tokens and loye letters to the Ladie Julina, but Silvio, his 
manne : in hym the Duke reposed his onely confidence to goe 
betweene hym and his ladie. 

Now, geutilwomen, doe you thinke there could have been a 
greater torment devised, wherewith to affliete the harte of 
Silla, then her self to bee made the instrumente to woorke her 
owne mishapp, and to plaie the attumey in a cause that made 
so muche againste her self! But Silla, altogether desirous to 
please her maister, cared nothyng at all to offende herself, fol- 
lowed his bttsinesse with so good a will, as if it had been in her 
owne preferment. 

Julina, now havyng many tymes taken the gaze of thfs 
yong youth, Silvio, perceivyng hym to bee of suche excellent^ 
perfecte grace, was so intangeled with the ^often sight of this 
sweete temptation, that she fell into as greate a likyng with 
the man as the maister was with herself; and on a tyme, Silvio 
beyng sent from his maister with a message to the Ladie 
Julina, as he beganne very earnestly to solicit in his maister^s 
behalfe, Julina, interruptyng hym in his tale, saied : Silvio, it 
is enough that you have saied for your maister ; from hence- 
forthe, either speake for your self, or saie nothyng at alL 
Silla, abashed to heare these wordes, began in her minde to 
accuse the blindnesse of Love, that Julina, neglectyng the good 
will of so noble a Duke, would preferre her love unto suche a 
one, as nature it self had denaied to recompense her likyng. 

And now, for a tyme leavyng matters dependyng as you 
have heard, it fell out that the right Silvio indeede (whom you 
have heard spoken of before, the brother of Silla) was come to 
his father's courte into the He of Cypres ; where, understanding 
that his sister was departed in maner as you have heard, con- 
jectured that the very occasion did proceade of some liking had 
betwene Pedro her man (that was missyng with her) and her- 
self: but Silvio, who loved his sister as dearly as his owne life, 


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and the rather for that, as she was his naturall sister, bothe 
by father and mother, so the one of theim was so like the other 
in countenaunce and favour, that there was no man able to 
desceme the one from the other by their faces, savyng by their 
aparell, the one beyng a man, the other a woman. 

Silvio, therefore, vowed to his father, not onely to seeke out 
his sister Silla, but also to revenge the yillanie whiche he con- 
ceived in Pedro for the carrlyng awaie of his sister ; and thus 
departyng, havyng travailed through many cities and tounes, 
without hearyng any manor of newes of those he wente to 
seeke for, at the laste he arrived at Constantinople, where as 
he was walkyng in an evenyng for his owne recreation, on a 
pleasaunte greene yarde, without the walles of the citie, he 
fortuned to meete with the Ladie Julina, who likewise had 
been abroad to take the aire ; and as she sodainly caste her eyes 
nppon Silvio, thinkyng hym to bee her olde acquaintaunce, by 
reason thei were so like one another, as you have heard before, 
saied unto hym, Sir Silvio, if your haste be not the greater, I 
praie you, let me have a little talke with you, seyng I have 
so luckely mette you in this place. 

Silvio, wondoryng to heare hym self so rightlie named, beyng 
but a straunger, not of above twoo daies continuance in the 
citie, verie courteouslie came towardes her, desirous to heare 
what she would saie. 

Julina, commaunding her traine somthyns^ to stande backe, 
saied as foUoweth : Seyng my good will and frendly love hath 
been the onely cause to make me so prodigall to offer that I 
see is so lightly rejected, it maketh me to thinke that men bee 
of this condition, rather to desire those thynges whiche thei 
can not come by, then to esteeme or value of that whiche bothe 
largely and liberallie is offered unto theim : but if the liberalitie 
of my proffer hath made to seme lesse the value of the thing 
that I ment to present, it is but in your owne conceipt, con- 
sideryng how many noble men there hath been here before, 
and be yet at this present, whiche hath bothe served, sued, 


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and moste humbly intreated, to attaine to that, whiche to you 
of myself I hare freely offred, and I perceive is despised, or at 
the least verie lightly re^rded. 

Silvio, wonderyng at these woordes, but more amaeed that 
she could so rightlie call hym by his name, could not tell what 
to make of her speeches, assuryng hym self that she was de- 
ceived and did mistake hym, did thinke, notwithstandyng, it 
had been a poincte of greate simplicite, if he should forsake 
that whiche Fortune had so &vourably proffered unto hym, 
perceivyng by her traine that she was some ladie of greate 
honour, and vewyng the perfection of her beautie and the ex- 
cellencie of her grace and countenaunce, did thinke it unpos- 
sible that she should be despised, and therefore aunswered 

Madame, if before this tyme I have seemed to forgett my 
self, in neglectyng your courtesie whiche so liberally you have 
ment unto me, please it you to pardon what is paste, and from 
this daie forewardes Silvio remaineth readie preste to make 
Buche reasonable amendes as his abilitie may any waies permit, 
or as it shall please you to commaunde. 

Julina, the gladdest woman that might bee to heare these 
joyfiill newee, ssued : Then, my Silvio, see you fiule not to 
morrowe at night to suppe with me at my owne house, where I 
will discourse farther with you what amendes you shall make 
me : to whiche request Silvio gave his glad consente, and thus 
thei departed, verie well pleased. And as Julina did thinke 
the tyme verie long till she had reapte the fruite of her desire, 
so Silvio he wishte for harvest before come could growe, 
thinkyng the tyme as long till he sawe how matters would fijl 
out ; but, not knowyng what ladie she might bee, he presently 
(before Julina was out of sight) demaunded of one that was 
walkyng by, what she was, and how she was called ! who satisfied 
Silvio in every poincte, and also in what parte of the toune her 
house did stande, whereby he might enquire it out. 

Silvio, thus departing to his lodging, passed the night with 


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yerie unquiet sleapes, and the nexte mornyng his mynde ran 
BO muche of his supper, that he never cared neither for his 
breakftst nor dinner ; and the daie, to his seemyng, passed 
awaie so slowlie, that he had thought the statelie steedes had 
been tired that drawe the chariot of th^ sunne, or ele some 
other Josua had commaunded them againe to stande, and 
wished that Phaeton had been there with a whippe. 

Julina, on the other side, she had thought the clocke setter 
had plaied the knave, the daie came no fester forewardes : but 
sixe a clocke beejng once stroken, recovered comforte to bothe 
parties ; and Silvio, hastenyng hymself to the pallace of Julina, 
wherby her he was frendlj welcomed, and a sumpteous 
supper beeyng made readie, fiimished with sondrie sortes of 
delicate dishes, thei satte them doune, passyng the supper 
tyme with amorous lokes, lovyng countenaunces, and secret 
glaunces conveighed from the one to the other, whiche did 
better satisfie them then the feedyng of their daintie dishes. 

Supper tyme beeyng thus spent, Julina did thinke it verie 
unfitly if she should toume Silvio to goe seeke his lodgyng in 
an evenyng, desired hym therefore that he would take a bedde 
in her house for that night ; and, bringyng hym up into a iaire 
chamber that was verie richely furnished, she founde suche 
meanes, that when all the reste of her houshold servauntes 
were a bedde and quiet, she came her self to beare Silvio com- 
panie, where, concludyng uppon conditions that were in ques- 
tion between them, thei passed the night with suche joye and 
contentation as might in that convenient tyme be wished for. 
But onely that Julina, feedyng too muche of some one dishe 
above the reste, received a surfet, whereof she could not bee 
cured in fonrtie weekes after, a naturall inclination in all 
women whiche are subjecte to longyng, and want the reason to 
use a moderation in their diet : but the mornyng approchyng, 
Julina tooke her leave, and conveighed her self into her owne 
chamber ; and when it was &ire daie Ught, Silvio, makyng 
hym self readie, departed likewise about his affaires in the 


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toune, debatyng with hjmself how thynges had happened, 
I beyng well asfiured that Julina had mistaken him ; and, there- 
fore, for feare of farther eyilles, determined to come no more 
there, but tooke his journey towardes other places in the partes 
of Grecia, to see if Be could leame any tidynges of his sister 

The Duke Apolonius, havyng made a long sute and never a 
whit the nerer of his purpose, came to Julina to crave her 
direct aunswere, either to accept of hym and of suche condi- 
tions as he proffered unto her, or els to give hym his laste fiure- 

Julina, as you have heard, had taken an earnest penie of 
another, whom she had thought had been Silvio, the Duke's man, 
was at a contr oversie in her self what she might doe : one While 
she thought, seyng her her occasion served so fitt, to crave the 
Dake'^s good will, for the mariyng of his manne ; then againe, 
she could not tell what displeasure the Duke would conceive, 
in that she should seeme to preferre his man before hymself, 
did thinke it therefore beste to conceale the BUitter, till she 
might speake with Silvio, to use his opinion how these matters 
should be handled : and hereupon resolvyng herself, desiiyng 
the Duke to pardon her speeches, saied as followeth. 

Sir Duke, for that from this tyme forwardes I am no longer 
of myself havyng given my fiill power and authoritie over to 
another, whose wife I now remaine by fiuthfuU vowe and pro- 
mise : and albeit I knowe the worlde will wonder when thei 
shall understande the fondnesse of my choice, yet I trust you 
yourself will nothyng dislike with me, sithe I have ment no 
other thing then the satisfiyng of myne owne contentation and 

The Duke, hearyng these woordes, aunswered : Madam, I 
must then content my self, although against my wil, having 
the lawe in your owne handes to like of whom you liste, and 
to make choise where it pleaseth you. 

Julina, givyng the Duke greate thankes, that would content 


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himself with sache pacience, desired hym likewise to giye his 
free eonsent, and good will to the partie whom she had chosen 
to be her housebande. 

Naie, snrely, madam, (q^ the Dake) I will never giye my 
consent that any other man shall enjoye you then myself: I 
haYe made too greate accompt of yon, then so lightly to passe 
yoQ awaie with my good will. But seeyng it lieth not in me 
to let yon, hayyng (as you saie) made your owne choise, so 
from hence fbrwardes I leave you to your owne likyng, alwaies 
willyng you well, and thus will take my leave. 

The Duke departed towardes his owne house, verie sorrow- 
M that Julina had thus served hym : but in the meane space 
that the Duke had remained in the house of Julina, some of 
his servantes fell into talke and conference with the servantes 
of Julina; where, debatyng betwene them of the likelihood of 
the mariage betweene the Duke and the ladie, one of the ser- 
vantes of Julina saied, that he never sawe his ladie and mistres 
use so good countenaunce to the Duke hym self, as she had 
doen to Silvio his manne ; and began to report with what fami- 
liaritie and courtesie she had received hym, feasted hym, and 
lodged hym, and that, in his opinion, Silvio was like to speede 
before the Duke, or any other that were suters. 

This tale was quickly brought to the Duke hymself, who, 
makyng better inquirie in the matter, founde it to be true that 
was reported ; and, better consideryng of the woordes whiche 
Julina had used towardes hymself, was verie well assured that 
it could bee no other then his owne manne, that had thrust 
his nose so farre out of joynte: wherefore, without any Airther 
r^peet, caused hym to be thrust into a dongeon, where he was 
kept prisoner in a verie pitiAill plight. 

Poore Silvio, havynggotte intelligence by some of his fellowes 
what was the cause that the Duke his maister did beare suche 
displeasure unto hym, devised all the meanes he could, as well 
by meditation by his fellowes, as otherwise by petitions and 
supplications to the Duke, that he would suspende his judge- 


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mente till perfecte proofe were "had in the matter, and then, if 
any maner of thyng did fall out againste hym, wherby the 
Duke had cause to take any greef, he would confesse hym self 
worthie not onely of imprisonmente, but also of moste vile and 
shameiuU death. With these pititions he daiely plied the 
Duke, but all in vaine ; for the Duke thought he had made bo 
good proofe, that he was throughlie confirmed in his opinion 
against his man. 

But the Ladie Julina, wonderyng what made Silvio that he 
was so slacke in his visitation, and why he absented hym self 
so long from her presence, beganne to thiuke that all was not 
well 5 but in the ende, perceivyng no decoction of her former 
Burfette, received as you have heard, and findyng in her self 
an unwonted swellyng in her beallie, assuryng her self to bee 
with child, fearyng to become quite banckroute of her honour, 
did thinke it more then tyme to seeke out a father, and made 
suche secret searche and diligent enquirie, that she learned the 
truthe how Silvio was kepte in prison by the Duke his maister ; 
and mindyng to finde a present remedie, as well for the love 
she bare to Silvio, as for the maintenaunce of her credite and 
estimation, she speedily hasted to the pallace of the Duke, to 
whom she saied as followeth. 

Sir Duke, it male bee that you will thinke my commyng to 
your house in this sorte doeth somethyng passe the limites of 
modestie, the whiche I protest, before God, proceadeth of this 
desire, that the worlde should knowe how justly I soke meanes 
to maintaine iny honour. But to the ende I seeme not tedious 
with prolixitie of woordes, nor to use other then direct circum- 
stances, knowe, sir, that the love I beare to my onely beloved 
Silvio, whom I doe esteeme more then all the jewelles in the 
worlde, whose personage I regard more then my owne life, is 
the onely cause of my attempted journey, beseechyng you, that 
all the whole displeasure, whiche I understand you have con- 
ceived against hym, maie be imputed unto my charge, and 
that it would please you lovingly to deale with him, whom of 

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myself I have choflen, rather for the satisfaction of mine honest 
likjng, than for the vaine preheminences or honourable dig- 
nities looked after by ambicioas myudes. 

The Duke, having heard this discourse, caused Silvio pre- 
sently to be sent for, and to be brought before hym, to whom 
he saied : Had it not been sufficient for thee, when I had re- 
posed myself in thy fidelitie and the trustinesse of thy service, 
that thou shouldest so traitorously deale with me, but since 
tiiat tyme hast not spared still to abuse me with so many 
forgeries and perjured protestations,- not onely hateAiU unto 
me, whose simplicitie thou thinkest to bee suche, that by the 
plotte of thy pleasaunt tongue thou wouldest make me be- 
leeve a manifest untrothe; but moste habominable bee thy 
doynges in the presence and sight of G-od, that hast not spared 
to blaspheme his holy name by callyng hym to bee a witnesse 
to maintaine thy leasynges, and so detestably wouldest for- • 
Bweare thyself in a matter that is so openly knowne. 

Poore Silvio, whose innocencie was suche that he might 
lawfully sweare, seing Julina to be there in place, aunswered 

Moste noble Duke, well understandyng your conceived 
greefe, moste humbly I beseche you paciently to heare my 
excuse, not mindyng therby to aggravate or heape up youre 
wrathe and displeasure, protestjrng, before God, that there is 
nothyng in the worlde whiche I regarde so muche, or dooe 
esteeme so deare, as your good grace and favour ; but desirous 
that your grace should know my innocencie, and to cleare my 
self of suche impositions, wherewith I knowe I am wrongftilly 
accused, whiche, as I understande, should be in the practisjrng 
of the Ladie Julina, who standeth here in place, whose ac- 
quitaunce for my better discharge now I moste humbly crave, 
protestyng, before the Almightie God, that neither in thought, 
worde, nor deede, I have not otherwise used my self then ac- 
cordyng to the bonde and duetie of a servante, that is bothe 
willyng and desirous to further his maister^s sutes ; which if I 


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have otherwise saied then that is true, you, Madame Jalina, 
who can verie well deside the depthes of all this doubte, I 
moste humbly beseche you to certifie a trothe, if I have in any 
thyng missaied, or have other wise spoken then is right and 

Julina, havyng heard this discourse whiche Silvio had 
made, perceivyng that he stoode in greate awe of the Duke^s 
displeasure, aunswered thus : Thinke not, my Silvio, that my 
commyng hither is to accuse you of any misdemeanour to- 
wardes your maister, so -I dooe not deuaie but in all snche 
imbassages wherein towardes me you have been imployed, you 
have used the office of a faithfuU and trustie messenger, neither 
am I ashamed to confesse, that the first daie that mine eyeei 
did beholde the singular behaviour, the notable curtesie, and 
other innumerable giftes wherewith my Silvio is endued, but 
that beyonde all measure my harte was so inflamed, that impos- 
sible it was for me to quenche the fervente love, or extinguishe 
the least parte of my conceived torment, before I had bewraied 
the same unto hym, and of my owne motion craved his pro- 
mised iaithe and loialtie of marriage ; and now is the tyme to 
manifest the same unto the worldle whiche hath been doen be- 
fore God and betwene ourselves, knowyng that it is not neede- 
ftill t6 keepe secret that whiche is neither evill doen nor hurt- 
full to any persone. Therefore (as I saied before) Silvio is my 
housbande by plited faithe, whom I hope to obtaine without 
offence or displeasure of any one, trustyng that there is no 
manne that will so farre forget hymself as to restraine that 
whiche Q-od hath left at libertie for every wight, or that will 
seeke by eruehie to force ladies to marrie, otherwise then ac- 
cordyng to their owne likyng. Feare not then, my Silvio, to 
keepe your faith and promise whiche you have made unto me ; 
and as for the reste, I doubte not thynges will so fall out as 
you shall have no maner of cause to complaine. 

\ Silvio, amased to heare these woordes, for that Julina by 
her speeche seemed to confirme that whiche he moste of all 


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desired to bee quite of, saied : Who would have thought that 
a ladie of so greate honour and reputation would her self bee 
the embassadour of a thyng so prejuditiall and uncomely for 
her estate! What plighted promises be these whiche bee 
spoken of? altogether ignoraunt unto me, whiche if it bee 
otherwise then I have saied, you sacred goddes consume me 
straight with flashyng flames of firej But what woordes might 
I use to give credite to the truthe and innocencie of my cause! 
Ah, Madame Julina ! I desire no other testiraonie then your 
owne, I desire no other testimonie then your owne honestie 
and vertue, thinkyng that you will not so muche blemishe the 
brightnesse of your honour, knowyng that a woman is, or 
should be, the image of curtesie, continencie, and sham&st- 
nesse^ from the whiche so sone as she stoopeth, and leayeth 
the office of her duetie and modestie, besides the degraduation 
of her honour, she thrusteth her self into the pitte of perpetuall 
in&mie. And as I can not thinke you would so &rre forgette 
yourself by the refusall of a noble Duke, to dimme the light of 
your renowne and glorie, whiche hetherto you have n>aintained 
emongest the beste and noblest ladies, by suche a one as I 
knowe my self to bee, too ferre unworthie your degree and 
eallyng, so moste humbly I beseche you to confesse a trothe, 
whereto tendeth those vowes and promises you speake of, 
whiche speeches bee so obscure unto mee, as I knowe not for 
my life how I might understande them. 

Julina, somethyng nipped with these speeches, saied : And 
what is the matter, that now you make so little accompte of 
your Julina ! that, beeyng my housband in deede, have the 
face to denaie me, to whom thou art contracted by so many 
solemne othes ! What ! arte thou ashamed to have me to thy 
wifej^ How muche oughtest thou rather to be ashamed to 
breake thy promised faithe^ and to have despised the holie and 
dreadAiU name of God ! but that tyme constraineth me to laye 
open that whiche shame rather willeth I should dissemble and 
keepe secret, behold me then here, Silvio, whom thou liaste 


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gotten with childe ; who, if thou bee of sttche honestie, as I 
trust for all this I shall finde, then the thyng is doen without 
prejudice, or any hurte to mj conscience, consideryng that by 
the professed &ithe thou diddeet accoumpte me for thy wife, and 
I receiyed thee for my spouse and loyall housbande, swearyng 
by the Almightie Grod that no other then you have made the 
conquest and triumphe of my chastitie, whereof I craye no 
other witnesse then yourself and mine owne conscience. 

I praie you, gentilwomen, was not this a foule oversight of 
Julina, that would so precisely sweare so greate an othe thai 
she was gotten with childe by one that was altogether unAir- 
nishte with implementes for suche a toume ! For Grod's love, 
take heede, and let this bee an example to you, when you be 
with childe, how you sweare who is the &ther before you have 
had good proofe and knowledge of the partie ; for men be so 
subtill and full of sleight, that, God knoweth, a woman may 
quickly be deceived. 

But now to retume to our Silvio, who, hearyng an othe 
Bwome so devinely that he had gotten a woman with childe, 
was like to beleeve that it had bin true in yery deede ; but, 
remembryng his owne impediment, thought it impossible that 
he should committe suche an acte, and therefore, half in a 
chafe, he saied. What lawe is able to restraine the foolishe in* 
discretion of a woman that yeeldeth herself to her owne de- 
sires! what shame is able to bridle or withdrawe her firom her 
mynd and madnesse, or with what snaffell is it possible to holde 
her backe from the execution of her filthinesse ! but what ab- 
homination is this, that a ladie of suche a house should so 
forget the greatnesse of her estate, the aliaunce whereof she is 
descended, the nobilitie of her deceased housbande, and maketh 
no conscience to shame and slaunder her self with suche a one 
as I am, beyng so farre unfit and unseemely for her degree ! 
but how horrible is it to heare the name of God so de&ced, 
that wee make no more accompt but for the mainteuaunce of 
our mischifes, we feare no whit at all to foreweare his holy 


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name, as thongh he were not in all his dealinges mooste 
righteous, trae, and juste, and will not onely laie open our 
leasinges to the worlde, but will likewise punishe the same 
with moste sharp and bitter scourges. 

Julina, not able to indure hym to prooeede any &rther in 
his sermon, was alreadie surprised with a vehement greefe, be- 
gan bitterly to crie out, utteryng these speeches foUowyng, 

Alas ! is it possible that the soveraigne justice of God can 
abide a mischiefe so greate and cursed I why male I not now 8u£Fer 
death, rather than the in&mie whiche I see to wander before 
myne eyes ! Oh, happie, and more then right happie, had I 
bin, if inconstant fortune had not devised this treason, where 
in I am surprised and caught ! Am I thus become to be in- 
tangled with snares, and in the handes of hym, who, injoiyng 
the spoyles of my honour, will openly deprive me of my &me, 
by makyng me a common fable to al posteritie in tyme to 
come! Ah, traitour, and discourtious wretche ! is this the re- 
compence of the honest and firme amitie which I have borne 
thee? wherein have I deserved this discourtesie! by loving 
thee more then thou art able to deserve? Is it I, arrant 
theefe ! is it I, uppon whom thou thinkest to worke thy mis- 
chives ! doest thou think me no better worth, but that thou 
maiest prodigally waste my honour at thy pleasure! didest 
thou dare to adventure uppon me, having thy conscience 
wounded with so deadly a treason ! Ah, unhappie, and, above 
all other, most unhappie ! that have so charely preserved myne 
honour, and now am made a praie to satisfie a yong man'^s lust, 
that hath coveted nothyng but the spoyle of my chastitie and 
good name. 

Here withall her teares so gushed doune her cheekes^ that 
she was not able to open her mouth to use any farther speeche. 

The Duke, who stood by all this while and heard this whole 
discourse, was wonderAiUy moved with compassion towardes 
Juliua, knowyng that from her infancie she had ever so ho- 
nourably used herself, that there was no man able to detect 


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her of any misdemeanour, otherwise then beseemed a ladle of 
her estate: wherefore, beyng fiilly resolved that Silvio, his 
man, had committed this villanie against her, in a greate fane, 
drawyng his rapier, he saied unto Silvio : 

How canst thou, arrant theefe ! shewe thy self so cruell and 
carelesse to suche as doe thee honour ! Hast thou so little re- 
gard of suche a noble ladie, ^ humbleth herself to suche a vil- 
laine as thou art, who, without any respecte either of her 
renowne or noble estate, canst be content to seeke the wracke 
and utter mine of her honour! But frame thyself to make 
such satis&ction as she requireth, although I knowe, unworthie 
wretche, that thou art not able to make her the least parte of 
amendes, or I sweare by Gk)d that thou shalt not escape the 
death which I will minister to thee with my owne handes, and 
therefore advise thee well what thou doest. 

Silvio, havyng heard this sharpe sentence, fell doune on his 
knees before the Duke, cravyng for mercie, desiryng that he 
might be suffered to speake with the Ladie Julina aparte, pro- 
mising to satisfie her accordyng to her owne contentation. 

Well, (^ the Duke) I take thy worde ; and therewithall I 
advise thee that thou performe thy promis, or otherwise I pro- 
test, before God, I will make thee suche an example to the 
worlde, that all traitours shall tremble for feare how they doe 
seeke the dishonouryng of ladies. 

But now Julina had conceived so greate greefe againste Sil- 
vio, that there was muche a dooe to perswade her to talkewith 
hym ; but remembryng her owne case, desirous to heare what 
excuse he could make, in the ende she agreed, and beyng 
brought into a place severally by themselves, Silvio beganne 
with a piteous voice to saie as foUoweth. 

I knowe not, madame, of whom I might make complaint, 
whether of you or of my self, or rather of Fortune, whiche 
hath conducted and brought us both into so greate adversitie. 
I see that you receive greate wrong, and I am condemned 
a^ainste all right ; you in perill to abide the brute of spightAill 


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tongues, and I in daunger to loose the thifig that I moste de- 
sire; and although I could alledge many reasons to prove 
my saiynges true, yet I referre my self to the experience and 
bountie of your minde. And here with all loosing his gar^ 
mentes doune to his stomacke, and shewed Julina his breastes 
and pretie teates, surmountyng &rre the whitenesse of snowe 
itself, saiyng: Loe, Madame ! behold here the partie whom you 
have chalenged to bee the &ther of your childe. See, I am a 
woman, the daughter of a noble Duke, who, onely for the love 
of him whom you so lightly have shaken off, have forsaken my 
&ther, abandoned my countreie, and, in manor as you see, am 
become a servyng-man, satisfiyng myself but with the onely 
sight of my Apolonius. And now, Madame, if my passion 
were not vehement, and my tormentes without comparison, I 
would wish that my fisdned greefes might be laughed to scome, 
and my desembled paines to be rewarded with floutes : but 
my love beyng pure, my travaile continuall, and my greefes 
endlesse, I trust, madame, you will not onely excuse me of 
crime, but also pitie my distresse, the which, I protest, I would 
Btill have kept secrete, if my fortune would so have permitted. 

Julina did now thinke her self to be in a worse case then 
ever she was before, for now she knewe not whom to chalenge 
to be the father of her child ; wherfore, when she had told the 
Duke the very certaintio of the discourse which Silvio had 
made unto her, she departed to her owne house, with suche 
greefe and sorrowe, that she purposed never to come out of her 
owne doores againe alive, to be a wonder and mocking stocke 
to the worlde. 

But the Duke, more amased to heare this straunge discourse 
of Silvio, came unto him, whom when he had vewed with 
better consideration, perceived indeede that it was Silla, the 
daughter of Duke Pontus, and imbracing her in his armes, he 

Oh, the braunche of all vertue, and the flowre of curtesie it 
self! pardon me, I beseche you, of all suche discourtesies as I 


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have ignorantlie committed towardes you, desirii]^ jon that 
without farther memorie of auncient greefes, you will accept of 
me, who is more joyfnll and better contented with your pre- 
sence, then if the whole worlde were at my. commaundement. 
Where hath there ever been founde suche liberalitie in a lover, 
whiche havyng been trained up and nourished emongest the 
delicacies and banquettes of the courte, aC'Companied with 
traines of many &ire and noble ladies, living in pleasure and in 
the middest of delightes, would so prodigallie adventure your 
self, neither fearing mishapps, nor misliking to take suche 
paines as I knowe you have not been accustomed unto ! O, 
liberalitie never heard of before ! O, facte that can never bee 
sufficiently rewarded ! 0, true love moste pure and un&ined ! 
Here with all sendyng for the moste artificiall woorkmen, he 
provided for her sondrie sutes of sumpteous apparell, and the ' 
marriage dale appoincted, whiche was celebrated with greate 
triumphe through the whole citie of Constantinople, every one 
prasing the noblenesse of the Duke ; but so many as did be* 
hold the excellent beautie of Silla gave her the praise above all 
the rest of the ladies in the troupe. 

The matter seemed so wonderftdl and straunge, that the 
brute was spreade throughout all the partes of Grecia, in so 
muche that it came to the hearyng of Silvio ; who, as you have 
heard, remained in those partes to enquire of his' sister : he 
beyng the gladdest manne in the worlde, hasted to Constanti- 
nople, where, comming to his sister, he was joyfuUie receved, 
and moste lovynglie welcomed, and entertained of the Duke 
his brother in lawe. After he had remained there twoo ot 
three daies, the Duke revealed unto Silvio the whole discourse 
how it happened betweene his sister and the Ladie Julina, and 
how his sister was ehalenged for gettyng a woman with childe. 
Silvio, blushyng with these woordes, was striken with greate 
remorse to make Julina amendes, understanding her to bee a 
noble ladie, and was lefte defamed to the worlde through his 
dc&ult : he therefore bewraicd the whole circumstaunce to the 


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Duke, whereof the Dake beyng verie joyfiill, immediatelie re- 
paired with Silvio to the house of Julina, whom thei founde in 
her chamber in greate lamentation and moumyng. To whom 
the Duke saied : Take courage, madam, for beholde here a gen- 
tilman that will not sticke bothe to father jour child and to 
take you for his wife $ no inferionr persone, but the sonne and 
heire of a noble Duke, worthie of your estate and dignitie. 

Julina, seyng Silvio in place, did know very well that he 
was the father of her childe, and was so ravished with joye, 
that she knewe not whether she were awake, or in some dreame. 
Silvio, imbracyng her in his armes, cravyng forgivenesse of all 
that vras past, concluded with her the marriage daie, which was 
presently accomplished with greate joye and contentation to all 
parties. And thus, Silvio havyng attained a nghk wife, and 
Silla, his sister, her desired housband, thei passed the residue 
of their daies with suche delight as those tliat have accom- 
^gJlgdJhe perfection of their felicities. 

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LuciUa^ a yong maiden endued teith sinfftdar beautie, for want 
of a convenient dowrie^ was restrained from mariyng her 
beloved Nicander : in the ende^ through the greate magni- 
feence of the courteous gong Prince^ Don Hercules^ the ondy 
Sonne and heire of Alfonso^ Duke of Farrara^ she teas re- 
leeved with the somme of 2000 crounes ; the which money beyng 
received by the father of Nicander^ the mariage was per- 
formed^ to the greate contentation of the noble yong Prince^ 
but egMcially to the twoo lovers^ Nicander and LuciUa, 

In the tyme that Alfonso, firste of that name and third 
duke of Ferrara, governed that state, there was in the citie of 
Ferrara a gentle yonge gentlewoman, named Lucilla, borne 
of a noble fisunilie, but by the frowardnesse of blinde fortune 
reduced to greater povertie then her vertues did deserve; 
whose beautie appeared to be suche, in the prime and flower 
of her yeres, as it filled with marvaile all those that caste 
their eyes upon her. Of this gentlewoman was fervently ena- 
moured a gallant yong gentleman, iivhose name was Nicander, 
and in like sorte borne of noble blood, and desired nothyng 
more then to be joyned with her in matrimonie ; but she 
beyng, as it is saied, poore, though of noble parentage, and 
endued with singular vertues, the father of the yong gentle- 
man disdained her : who (as for the moste parte we see old 
men naturally enclined to covetise) regardyng rather the 
wealth that their daughters in lawe are to bryng into their 


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£EimiIie8, then either birthe, vertue, or giftes of the minde, 
could in no wise be perswaded or intreated to content his 
Sonne in that behalf, and to suffer hym to enjoye his loye, by 
takyng her to wife ; alledgyng, that the first thing that was to 
bee considered in manage was the dowrie and the woman ; for 
that the vertues of the women doe not enriche the houses 
wherein thei came (said he), but the qualitie of gooddes and 
wealthe that thei brought with them. 

The coveteous disposition of the fitther of Nicander was 
cause that these twoo yong folke languished in miserable love ; 
for although their flames were of equall force and heate, yet 
the yong gentlewoman, beyng of a verie honest minde, nor the 
yong gentleman, never thinking upon any other meanes then 
honestly to enjoye his desire, without touche or breache of her 
honor, and the obstinate wilAilnesse of the old man beyng 
cast, as a barre or blocke, betweene the unitie and concorde of 
their twoo mindes, thei lived in greate torment, eche con* 
sumyng, as it were meltyng awaie with desire, for love of eche 
other. Whilest their mutuall love continued in this sorte, 
eche daie with lesse hope then other through the obstinacie 
of th'old carle, it happened that Don Hercules, the Dukes's 
onely sonne and heire, beyng then in the freshest tyme of his 
youth, passing by the streate where this ^gentlewoman dwelt, 
sawe her standyng in her doore, apparailed in white ; whiche 
kinde of attire encreased greatlie her naturall beautie, and 
consideryng somewhat curiously the comelinesse and excel- 
lencie of her personage, together with her perfection of beautie, 
he received with suche force into his imagination the firste Im- 
pression of theim bothe, that from thence forward her lively 
image semed continually to be before his eyes : by the con- 
sideration whereof he grewe by degrees to conceive so vehe* 
ment a desire to enjoye the singularitie which he sawe in her, 
that he thought it impossible for hym to live if he did not 
ottaine it. 


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And ofte tymes discoursyng to hym self thereof, he would 
Baie, What injurie hath fortune doen unto this &ire gentle- 
woman, that as nature hath been liberall in bestowyng of 
beautie upon her, meete for* any greate princes, she hath not 
likewise caused her to bee borne of some kyng or mightie 
prince! which if she were, I would never cease till I had 
founde the meanes to gett her to bee my wife, and so enjoye 
her as myne owne, with the safetie of her honour, and with 
the satis&ction and contentment of my &ther. 

But in the ende, although he sawe her degree to be fiure 
unequall to his, to wishe, or to procure any suche matche, 
yet ceased 'he not by all the meanes he could to win her good 
will, and now by one devise, and now by another, to induce 
her to love hym, and to yeelde to his fervent desire. But all 
in vaine : for where many others woald have taken it for a 
great good fortune, that suche a prince should have fiJlen in 
love with theim, Lucilla, consideryng the basenesse of her 
degree in respeete of the high estate of her newe lover, reputed 
it to bee a greate mishappe unto her, as she that considered 
that she could not nourishe or entertaine any suche love, but 
with the harme and prejudice of yer honour. Besides that, 
she feared least that Nicander should once perceive that this 
yong prince hunted after that haunte, he would forsake her, 
for feare of &rther displeasure : wherefore to avoide both in- 
conveniences, whereas till then she was wont to shewe herself 
sometyme at the dore, sometyme at the windowes, she now 
retired herself in suche sort that she could never be seen but 
on the Sondaies and holie daies, as she went to a little churche 
nere adjoinyng to the house. Wherefore Nicander not a little 
mervailyng, and greatly troubled in spirite, fearying that 
Lucilla (waveryng as women use to doe) had forsaken hym, 
and turned her affection elswhere, as one full of gelousie and 
greef, for &ult of better comforte he would watche his tymes, 
and foUowe her to that churche, there to feede his fancie vritha 


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looke or twoo, wbiche yet amid his miserie he semed to esteeme 
as a releef, without the whiche he could not live. Finally, 
not beyng able to endure those tormentes that this absence 
and straungenesse of his ladie caused hym to feele, he sent 
unto her a convenient messenger with a letter, conteinyng 
this effecte :— 

The birde whiche long hath lived in pleasant feeld, 
Esteemes no whit his cage of wreathed golde : 

The dulced note, wharewith he pearst the skie, 
For greef of mynde he can not then unfolde. 

Yet lives he stiU, but better were to die ; 

More worse then death, even suche a life have I. 

The turtle true, of his deceased mate 

Bewailes the want, he reakes no more of blisse : 

The swellyng swanne doeth hardly brooke the place, 
When he his beste beloved bride doeth misse. 

Suche is my joye : Nioander needes must die, 
Lucilla doeth his wonted presence flie. 

How can I live, that double death possesse ? 

How should I joye, that drenched am in thrall! 
What foode maie feede, or beare a pleasaunt taste, 

Where as the harte lies bathed still in gall ! 
If this be life, then life bee farre from me. 

And welcome death, to set Nicander free ! 

What cause, my deare, hath thy Nicander wrought. 

That makes thee shunne in whom thou shouldst delight ! 

What moves thy mynde to mewe thee up so close. 
And keepe thee from thy beste-beloved sight ! 

If I offended have, then charge me when and how : 
Nicander shall hym cleare, or to thy mercie bow. 

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If no offence, but fonde conceipt hath taken holde, 
Gondempne hym not that shewes his giltlesse hande ; 

Who hether to hath never ment the thyng. 
That justly might against your honour stande : 

If giltie I, I aske no other grace, 
Give dome of death, aAd doe my Bute defi^se. 

I B^e no more, but as I doe deserve, 

So shewe the fruite of ray deserved hire ; 
Seeme not ao straunge unto thy faithfiill frende. 

Whose absence setts my scorchyng harte on fire : 
But as my love to thee no tongue can tell, 

Esteeme the like of me, and so fiirewell. 

Thyne owne Nicander. 

The yong gentlewoman, who had fixed all her thoughtes 
and settled all the coutentmentes of her harte onely upon Nican- 
der, neither desiryng anythyng in the worlde so muche as to 
please and content hym, felte an intoUerable perplexitie of 
minde, in that she sawe hym greeve thus at her late straunge- 
nesse; and yet thought it better that he should complaine, then 
come by any knowledge of the love that Don Hercules did 
beare her : wherefore, hidyng from hym.the matter, replied in 
this sorte. 

The birde whiche is restrainde 

Of former hartes delighte, 
I must confess, twixt life and death, 

Doeth alwaie combate fight. 

So doeth the harte, compelled 

By heste of parentes will, 
Obaye for feare ; yet forst by love, 

Continues constant still. 


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No absence by consent. 

My deare Nioander, I 
Haye wrought to worke thy wo, from thee, 

Like Grossed &Ise, to flie. 

Ne shall I live to lothe 

What roaie content thy minde : 
Hap life or death, as true as Steele 

Thou shalt Lucilla finde. 

Thy eares shall never heare. 

Nor eyes shall never see, 
That any wight shall reape the fruite 

Whiche planted was for thee. 

Then frame thyself, my deare, 

To take, against thy will, 
Our absence in good part, till tyme 

Male better happe frilfill. 

And there withall receive 

This pledge to cure thy paine : 
My harte is thyne, preserve it well. 

Till we twoo meete againe. 

Ever thyne, Lucilla. 

This sweete aunswere mitigated not a little the moode of 
the yong gentleman, and so he framed himself the best he could 
to toUerate the absence of his Lucilla. On the other side, Don 
Hercules, who in like manor founde hymself deprived of the sight 
of that yong ladie, whom he loved extremely, was veiy muche 
discontented, and perceivyng that neither messages, nor &ire 
offers, with large gifles sent unto her, whereof never any were 
accepted, could once move her to shewe herself courteous unto 
hym of so muche as a looke, and consideryng the povertie 



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wherein her mouther lived now in her latter yeres, beganne to 
imagine that it would be muche easier for him, by offeryng her 
liberally where withall to marrie her daughter, to perswade 
her to yeeld her into his hiuxdes, then to winne the yong 
gentlewoman to his desires. 

Wherefore, havyng sent a fitt persone to Lucilla'*8 mother, to 
let her understande, that if she would be content that the 
yong Prince might enjoye her daughter, he would give her 
suche a dowrie, in recompence of his pleasure, that no gentle- 
man of what degree soever should for her povertie refuse to 
take her to wife : whereas, if she refused that good offer, she 
should therby be constrained, through necessitie, either to be- 
stowe her upon some artificer, or crafles man ^ or, if she 
would needes marrie her to a gentleman, she must give her to 
some suche as was so poore, as that she should live all the 
dales of her life in want and miserie : the whiche in effect 
would be nothyng els but. to bee cruell towardes her owne 
daughter, in barring tl^at. good hap whiche he did offer, besides 
the favour that he should be able to shewe, in fiirtheiyng her 
manage, to bothe their endlesse comfortes. The mother, beyng 
often soUicited, and summoned to this effecte, and on the one 
side punished with povertie, and on the other charged with 
yeres, bothe whiche pressed her verie muche, after divers dis- 
courses made to and fro with her self, lastly she saied: And 
where to ought I to have regarde, but to the wealthe and pro- 
fite of my daughter, whiche bothe she shall reape aboundauntly, 
if, by the givyng herself unto this yong Prince, he doeth be- 
stowe upon her that dowrie whiche he hath promised ; and 
although, in doyng thereof^ there be some touch and spotte to 
my daughter's honour and myne, yet shall it bee so recom- 
pensed with the benefite of her dowrie, that the profite will be 
greater then the harme. And if therein be any offence, the 
blame thereof is not to be imputed unto me, but unto my 
evill fortune, that hath brought me into this miserable neces- 
sitie. Besides, that my daughter beyng now alreadie eightene 


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yeres of age, and of moste singular beantie, and myself alreadie 
so olde, that (torn daie to daie I male looke to goe to my grave, 
I might happen to dye, and leave her without any govemement 
or oversight, and she, stirred with those appetites where to 
yonge folkes are enclined, through the frailtie of her sexe, and 
the povertie wherein I shall leave her, be brought to yeelde 
her self into the handes of some suche one as would not have 
due regard unto her calljmg, but bring her unto the spoile. 

And after these and suche like discourses, sondrie times had 
with herself, finally she sent hym worde, that if it would please 
hym, she would gladly speake with hym herself: whiche he 
havyng understoode, caused her to be brought one evenyng 
into a place where thei twoo alone might talke, and there, 
havyng given her oportnnitie to sale what she would, thus she 

Sir, the weapons wherewith necessitie and my povertie hath 
assaulted me, have been so sharpe and so pearcyng, that, 
although I have endevoured, all the waies I could devise, to re- 
sist and defaide myself firom them, yet in thende I have been 
forced to yeeld, as vanquished and overcome, and constrained 
to do that with my daughter, as to thinke of it onely I am so 
abashed, that I dare not for shame lifte up myne eyes to be- 
holde you. But forasmuche as no other thyng hath perswaded 
me thereunto, but the desire whiche I have to get her a dowrie 
wherewith I maie afterward bestowe her honestly, I beseche 
you to be content to extende your liberalitie in suche sort, as 
sAie maie have that large dowrie which it hath pleased you to 
promise me. 

Thereof I assure you, (saied the Prince) and larger too then 
hath been spoken of to you, besides : and, also, I will minister 
suche releefe unto you for your owne state, that you shall have 
cause to give me thankes for the same. 

Then replied the olde gentlewoman, and saied : Since that 
you perceive, sir, that no desire to make marchaundize of my 
daughter, but extreame povertie, whereunto my froward for- 

H 2 


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tune hath brought me, doeth drive me to this exigent, I doe 
likewise besech you, that jou will come unto my daughter at 
suche tyme as I shall devise moste convenient, with as mnche 
regard unto her credite as male be possible. I will therein be 
ruled wholie by you, answered the yong Prince ; and looke in 
what sorte you will appoint me to come, so shall it be. 

The first thyng, then, sir, ((^ she) that I thinke requisite, 
is that you come alone, without any companie, when I shall 
assigne you the tyme, so that the thyng rest secret betweene 
you and me and my daughter, and no occasion be given to 
publishe it, whereby my daughter might leese her good name. 

This courteous yong Prince was there withall well content, 
and that beyng concluded and agreed upon, she saied further : 
I knowe, sir, the honestie of my daughter to bee suche, that 
if I should open my lippes unto her of any suche matter, she 
would not onely rejecte any perswasion that I might use unto 
her, but also ridde her self out of my house. And, therefore, 
leaste that should happen, and to the ende that you maie have 
your desire, and she have a dowrie, wherewith she maie be 
maried, if not with all the honour that the state and callyng 
wherein she was borne doeth require, yet with the leaste harme 
that maie be possible, since my hard happe is suche, and that 
my povertie doeth so constraine me, I have determined to doe 
herein as you shall heare. My daughter useth to lye in a lowe 
chamber, neare unto the streate doore ot my house, in the 
whiche chamber I my self in like sorte am wont to lye, when- 
soever we two remaine alone in the house, as often tymes we 
doe ; and commonly I, rising early in the mornyng about such 
businesse as I have, doe leave my daughter in bed, where she 
slepeth some tymes two howres or three after that I am gone. 
To morowe mornyng, therefore, will I rise and leave her alone 
in thai chamber, and will set open the streate doore, so as you 
shall not neede but to pushe at it, and the chamber dore like- 
wise. You shall come very early, as we have concluded, all 
alone, and entryng into the chamber, there shall you finde my 


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slaughter, and abide with her as long as it shall please yourself. 
Bnt I doe once againe, sir, beseche you, as I have doen before, 
that the matter maie passe secrete, and not to bee imparted to 
any other then to us three, to the ende, that where I suffer 
myself to be led through necessitie to doe that whiche I doe, 
'and with an entent to place my daughter in manage, by the 
meane of that dowrie whiche you doe give her, the case beyng 
knowne, we reape not etemall shame and in&mie. 

At this deyise, the yong Prince paused a while, thinking it 
straunge that he should goe to a yon^ maide, that not onely 
was unmllyng, but also not so muche as made privie of his 
commyng, did what he could to refiise that meane, and to per* 
swade the mother to devise some better. But at the last, 
seyng none other could be founde more fitte for the purpose, 
beyng pricked forwarde with the vehemencie of that appetite 
whiche love had stirred up in him, consideryng himself to be a 
Prince, and a gallant yong gentilman, and that he should be 
alone with his love, thought that it should not be harde for hy m 
to Wynne her to his wiU ; and so [was] content to doe as the 
olde gentilwoman had devised. And beyn^ parted cache from 
other, he began to attende the commyng of the nexte momyng, 
and all that night, which seemed longer unto him then a hole 
yeare, he laie with his thoughtes and imaginations in the armes 
of his Lucilla. As soon as the daie began to peepe, Don Her- 
cules, all alone, as he had promised to the mother, went to the 
house of his ladie, and findyng the doores open, accordyng to 
promise, entered into the chamber wherein Lucilla laie, and 
havyng barred the doore, i^proehed neere the bedde wherein 
she laie. 

It was in the moneth of Julie, which season in that countrie 
is extreme hotte, by reason whereof Lucilla, toumblyng from 
one side of the bedde unto the other, had rolled of all the 
clothes wherewith she had been covered, so as she had lefte 
herself all naked ; and in that sorte he found her, with coralles 
about her necke and her armes, whiche with the difference of 


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'JOfif • - •-* -^* ^^ '^^ BICHE HIS FABEWELL 

their ruddie couler did sette out and beautifie greatly the ex- 
cellent fairenesse of her white bodie. She laie a depe upon 
her backe, with her handes cast over her hedde (as for the 
moste parte jong women are wont to dooe) so that forthwith 
the yong Prince discovered her from toppe to toe : and eon- 
sideryng with a greedie eye all her whole bodie, not ondy he 
commended her to hymself so naked, as he had dooen whitest 
she was apparailed, but also did so singolarlie well like her in 
that state, that he thought he saw rather some divine tiling, 
or some goddesse come doune from heaven, to heape hym with 
happinesse, then a mortall creature ; and beganne to allowe 
and commende his owne judgemente, in that he had placed his 
love uppon so excellente and rare a peece. And therewith 
bowying doune hymself to give her a kisse, and so to awaken 
her, beholde she opened her eyes, whiche right well resembled 
twoo bixe shinyng starres : and where she was used to see 
none other other bodie in that chamber but her mother when 
she waked, now seyng this young Prince standyng thus over 
her, and findyng herself in that sorte all naked, she gave a 
greate skritche, and saied — 

*' Out, alas ! sir, (for she knewe hym straight waie), what 
evill happe hath brought you hither at this tyme V and in so 
saiyng, as one wonderfullie ashamed to bee scene in that 
plight, she wrapped about her one of the sheetes, and began 
with a loude voice to call her mother. 

But perceiving that her mother would not heare, and that 
she called in vaine, she began to imagine that she was con- 
sentyng unto his commyng thither, and lamentyng with teares 
that trickled doune her cheekes, like droppes of dewe hanging 
uppon roses in a Maie morning, she said, '' Alas ! now I see 
my mother also hath betrayed me.^ Whiche thyng the 
young Prince understandyng, saied unto her : ^^ Trouble not 
yourself, nor greeve not (&ir damsell) at my commyng hether, 
but rather rejoyce that your singuler beautie hath so enflamed 
me, as one in a maner forgettyng my estate have beene con- 


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tented to come hether all aloBe, as a private manne, to enjoye 
your Gompanie, if it will please you to accepte my good will 5 
whiche though a thousande other dames of this citie dooe 
wiflhe, and would bee glad of, yet hare I deemed none of them 
worthie thereof but yourself. And seeyng your mother, who 
hath that power over you, that in reason she ought to have 
over her childe, and knoweth beste what is for your good and 
eommoditie, doeth consent hereunto, you (in my judgement) 
are not but to shewe yourself in like sorte content ; for in 
givyng yourself to me, you doe not abase or caste yourself 
away upon any vilde persone, but shewe yourself courteous 
unto a Prince, whom your beautie hath made thrall, and in 
whom you shall finde nothyng but gratefiill courtesie, to your 
benefite and satisfaction.^^ 

And with these, and other like wordes, stretched forthe his 
hande towarde her breastes, that were like two little balles of 
ivorie, and drawing nere here to kisse her, she, with her 
hande thrustyng hym modestly back, saied thus—" Sir, I 
besecfae you, by the princely nobilitie that is in you, and 
by that love which you say you beare me, that it wil please 
you not to force me, or to seeke at my hands anything against 
my will ; and that since my mother, who ought to have beene 
the cheef defender of mine honestie, hath abandoned and for- 
saken me, you will yet of your courtesie vouchsafe to give me 
the heaxyng of a fewe wordes, whiche the special! care I have 
of mine honour doeth force me to expresse/^ 

The courteous yong Prince, at this request, staid hymself 
proceadyng any fiirther ; and not beeyng desirous to have her, 
but with her owne good will, stoode still to heare what it was 
that Lucilla would sale unto hym, yet ever hoping with faire 
meanes to winne her at the laste, and she wepyng verie ten- 
derly, beganne to say unto him in this sorte. 

** I am verie sorie, moste noble Prince (% she), that fortune 
hath been so muche myne enemie, that she hath made me a 
woman farre unworthie and unmeete for you ; for that you. 


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beyng so great a Prince as you are, and I so meane a gentle- 
woman, I see so greate a space and distannoe between your 
high estate and my lowe degree, that betweene us there can 
be no portion, or convenient equalitie* For the whiche caliae 
(sir) I, consideryng myne owne estate, and not mindyng to 
exceade my callyng, have a good while since chosen Nicander 
to be my lover, who in respect of his bloud, though he bee 
richer then I, is no whitte nor more noblie borne then myself 
am. By reason of whiche conformitie of bloud and birthe, our 
love is likewise growne to be equall, and equall the desire in 
us bothe, he to have me to his wife, and I to have hym for 
my housbande : but the coveteousnesse (let it be lawfull for 
me to saie so) of his father is suche, that although he knoweth 
me to be a gentilwoman borne, yet because I am not of that 
wealth, as to bryng him so greate a dowrie as his riches per- 
chaunce require, he despiseth me, and will not yeeld by any 
perswasion his good, will and consent, that wee maie matche 
together aocordyng to our desire. Neverthelesse (sir) I, con- 
sideryng how fervently this yong gentleman loveth me, and 
that alreadie we are in mynd united and knitte together, with 
consent, fikith and love, doe yet believe, assuredly, that God, 
of his speciale goodnesse and jBE^vour, will graunt us his assured 
grace, that we maie one dale bee joyned together in the holie 
state of matrimonie. Which thyng, if it should happen and 
come to passe, I not havyng any thyng els to bryng with me 
for my dowrie but my virginitie, am determined and fiilly 
resolved (by Qod^B help) to give it unto hym, as pure and 
unspotted as I brought it from my mother'^s wombe : and if 
my unhappie chaunce and fortune be such, as that I can not 
have Nicander to my housbande, I have concluded with myself 
(by the grace of God) never to couple my self to any man 
living, but to give and vowe me wholie unto Almightie Gt)d, 
and in his service to spende my daies a virgme, in continuall 
fastyng and praier. Therefore (moste excellent Prince) if 
honestie, if justice, if religion, have that power and force in 


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your noble mynde, whiche in reason they ought to have, I 
doe beseche you, and for that love'^s sake that you saie you 
beare me, that you will preserve and kepe unstained my ho- 
nestie, and that it would please you, with the sounde discourse 
of reason, to temper that fervent appetite whiche hath brought 
you hether, to the prejudice and breache of my honestie and 
credit. In doyng whereof you shall shewe yourself to be, in 
deede, that noble Prince, that the highnesse of your birthe 
and bloud doeth promise you should be ; whereas, if you should 
force and violate me, a virgine and a weake maid without 
defence, there could thereof ensue nought else to me but dis- 
honor and reproche, and withall small praise would it be unto 
your ezcellencie, when it shall be said that you had overcome 
a simple damsel.^ And here, being interrupted with sobbes 
and teares, excedyng for the greefe of her minde, casting 
doune her eyes for shame and sorowe, she helde her peace, 
attending what her hap, and the goodnesse of the Prince, 
should dispose of her, in whose courtesie she had reposed all 
her hope and confidence. 

This yong Prince, understanding the honest desire of 
Lucilla, first. praised her greatly to hymself for the chastnes 
of her minde, and beyng moved with the magnanimitie of his 
noble minde, though he were pricked with the sharpest darte 
of the blind boyes quiver, and that his ardent appetite did still 
stirre hym to the accomplishment of his desire, yet con- 
quering himself with reason, he turned all the love whiche 
erst he bare unto this young ladie into compassion of her 
estate, and thus he saied unto her. '^ The vertue and ho- 
nestie of thy mynde, &ire damsell, doe require that I should 
make no lesse accompt of thine honour, then if I were come 
hether to no other entent then to defende it a^inst any other 
that should goe aboute to staine or spot it: therefore, not 
onely thou needest not to feare any violence at my handes, 
but also maiest hope that I will not faile to further this thy 
chast purpose, so that thou maiest enjoy that yong gentleman 


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whiche thou hast chosen for thy houshand, with all the honoar 
and satis&ction that appertaineth to the honestie of thy 
minde ; and, therefore, since nothyng els doeth let thee from 
the gettyng of him but the poyertie of thy state, wherennto th j- 
frowarde fortune hath unworthily brought thee, I will myself 
supplie in that behalf that wherein she hath failed, and cor- 
recte with my liberalitie the injurie that she hath doen thee.^ 
And havyng so said, he hymself opened the doore and called 
her mother, who had gotten herself into a chamber, and 
there sate bewailyng the miserie of her state, whereby she 
had been driven in suche sorte to prepare a dowrie for her 

She beyng come, he saied unto her : '^ Gentlewoman, if erst 
I came hether as a lover unto your daughter, now I will de- 
parte and leave her as if I were her brother, leavyng her 
honour no lesse safe and untouched then I founde it, for so 
deserveth her vertue that I should deale with her* And for- 
asmuch as I perceive she is in love with a yong gentleman 
whom I well knowe, and is in my opinion very worthie of it, 
and that he in like sorte is in love with her, and that onely 
the want of a reasonable dowrie is the cause, that she can not 
become his wife as she desireth, I am content to bestowe 
upon her, for her contentment, that summe for her dowrie 
whiche I had purposed to have given her in recompence of 
my contentation, to the ende that this her honest desire maie 
have that effecte, whiche is moste convenient to so greate and 
well grounded an affection, and that her greate honestie and 
vertue doe deserve. Therefore sonde you this daie unto my 
treasorer, and he shall forthwith disburse unto you 2000 
pounde, which shalbe the dowrie of this your gentle and 
honest daughter/^ 

And tumyng hym self towarde the yong gentlewoman, he 
said unto her : '' And as for you, faire damsell (% he), I crave 
nothyng els now at your handes, but that you keepe this &ith 
of yours, wherewith you are lincked unto your lover, inviolate 

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and unapotted, eyen as I doe leave you inviolate and unspotted 
in your motber^s handes.*^^ How greate the joye of the mo- 
ther was when she sawe the honestie of her daughter (as it 
were) resaved out of this yong princes handes by the force of 
her owne vertue, maie better be imagined then expressed with 
wordes ; but, above all joyes, the joye of Lucilla exceded all 
other, when she understoode that, through the magnificence 
and liberalitie of the noble yong Prince, she was to have her 
Nicander for her housbande. 

And toumyng her eyes, fall of modestie, towardes him she 
saied : ^' I could not (sir) have had any more certaine and in- 
fidlible token of your love towarde me, then that whiche now 
of your greate courtesie and bountie you have shewed me ; 
whiche I acknowledge to bee so greate, that I am bounde to 
yeeld your ezcellencie my most humble and infinite thankes. 
But forasmuche as wordes do fiule me wherewith I might doe 
it, I must beseche you that it maie reste in your discrete 
judgement to consider how muche I confesse myself to bee 
your debtor, when woordes dooe &ile me, to yeeld you, at the 
least, thankes for so greate a benefite. This onely will I saie 
unto your grace, that the remembraunce of so noble an acte 
shall never weare out of my minde ; and that I will, so long 
as I live, pniie unto Almightie Gt)d so to preserve and main- 
taine your noble persone, as you of your goodnesse have saved 
mine honestie, and so to graunt you the accomplishement of 
all your noble desires, as you have offered me to make me 
content of mine, by havying my Nicander to bee my hous- 
bande : unto whom, as well because I have ever been so dis- 
posed, as for that it hath pleased your excellencie to com- 
maunde me, I will alwaies keepe sounde and unstained that 
fiuthe, whiehe through your courtesie shall joyne me to him 
in mariage.*" 

The damsell seemed unto the Prince at that instaunt to bee 
in a manor greater then she was in deede, when she once 
stoode assured of the savegarde of her honestie ; and delight- 


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mg no lease in the excellencie of her minde, then he had be- 
fore doen in the beautie of her bodie, he departed from her. 

And havyng caused the two thousande pounde to be paied 
unto her mother, as he had promised, he went unto the Duke, 
his father, and tolde hym all that had passed betweene Ludlla 
and hjm : the maner whereof liked so well the Duke, that he 
concluded with hymself that all the vertues, that ever had been 
before that tyme in his progenitours, would bee moste excel- 
lently joyned in hym. 

This yong Prince required his &ther to sonde for Nican- 
der'^s &ther, and to perswade hym to agree that his soonne 
might matche with Lucilla, since that she was provided and 
fiimished with so reasonable a dowrie ; which thyng the Duke 
did with a very good will, for that he knewe that if his sonne 
should have taken in hande to perswade the old manne to any 
suche matter, it might have stirred some suspition in his head 
why the Prince should so dooe. And havyng sent for hym 
accordyngly, when he was come, the Duke, after some &miliar 
speeches of course and courtesie, tolde hym he was desirous 
that his soonne Nicander should take Lucilla to be his wife, 
who as well for her birthe, as for the rare giftes of her mynde 
(as he had learned), was worthie to be wife to any greate 
lorde. The old gentleman aunswered, that although she had 
those vertues and giftes which he spake of, and were verie well 
borne, yet had she not any dowrie convenient, or agreeable to 
his wealthe, whereby she might deserve to bee matched with 
his Sonne, " Yes, Marie,*" said the Duke, ** for I myself, 
because I would not have so greate vertue as is in her to bee 
oppressed by fortune'*s spight, have bestowed upon her twoo 
thousande pounde to serve for her dowrie. 

The old manne, hearyng of suche a somme, was very wel 
content to dooe as the Duke would have hym, and. the nexte 
daie, through the liberalitie of the Prince, the manage was 
concluded and knitte up, which had so long been delaied and 
hindered by the coveteousnesse of the old manne, and the 


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povertie of Lucilla, with the infinite joje and contentment of 
the twoo yonng lovers, who had long wished and desired that 
happie daie. 

What vertue, or what continence of Alexander, or of Scipio, 
maie be compared to this ! Scipio abstained &om the yong 
gentlewoman whiche was presented unto hym in Spaine, 
Alexander from Darius his daughter ; but it was verie easie 
for either of theim so to dooe, as well because thei were in the 
fiirie of warre, and the soundes of drummes and trumpettes, 
as for that those women were of a strange nation, and ene- 
mies unto them, and never before that tyme seen of any of 
them, muche lesse desired : whereas this yonge Prince, who 
even bathyng as it were in blisse, livyng at his ease and 
pleasure, in the flower of his youthe, and in the heate of his 
amorous flames, had a yong gentlewoman, of a rare beautie, 
not of straunge nation, or any otherwise to be hated, but ex- 
tremely beloved, in his handes, and voluntarily yeelded and 
committed unto hym by her owne mother ; and yet not onely 
tempered hymself, and refrained to defile her chast and honest 
bodie, but also bestowed liberally her dowrie uppon her, to the 
ende that an other might enjoye her, and bee her housbande, 
whom she had chosen to love and like of, did, without all 
question, fiirre exceade all hnmaine courtesie in so noble and 
so vertuous an acte. Whereby he made apparent, that al- 
though he were pricked forward with the sharpe spurres of 
love and his sensuall appetite, yet was he of that highnesse of 
courage, and of that constancie of minde, that he was able not 
onely to conquer him self, but also to subdue the forces of 
love, whereunto bothe mortall mennes valour doeth commonly 
yeeld, and the very power of the goddes themselves (if we 
shall beleeve the fables of the auncient writers) hath shewed 
itself often tymes inferiour. 

And thus this honeste damsell Lucilla, by the meanes of 
her chastitie, the vertue and excellencie whereof did winne 
and maister the harte of that yonge Prince, muche more then 


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the perfection of her bodily beautie had dooen before, obtained 
the thyng she moste desired and joyed in, vhiche was to have 
Nicander to her housebande : with whom she lived ever after 
in greate contentment and happinesse, still noarishyng with 
kinde and lovyng demeanour, eche to other, that fervent 
affection which, from their first acquaintance, had taken foil 
possession of bothe their liberties. 

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The harde adneniure of Fineo with his beloved Fiamma^ whoj 
after gondrie eonjlietes offortune^ vsere in the ende solde as 
daws to the Kyng of Tunise ; tcho^ seying their perfecte love^ 
caused them to be maried^ and after honouryng theim with 
sondrie presentee^ sent them home to Satona^ where by their 
parentes andfreendes tihei were joyfully received. 

In Genova, one of the fiurest and moste £Eunous cities of 
Italie, there was sometyme a yong gentlewoman of excellent 
beautie, called Fiamma, that was in love with a yong gentle- 
man of Savona (a citie subjecte unto the state of Geneva, and 
distaonte from thence aboute thirtie miles) whose name was 
Fineo; and their love beeyng mutuall, and tendyng to no 
other ende then to be linked and joyned together by mar- 
riage, thei would not long have staled to bryng their honest 
desires to a good ende and conclusion, had not the &ther of 
the gentlewoman refiised his consente, and shewed hymself 
contrary to this their love and good will ; for he misliking 
with the matche, either for that he purposed to place her 
better, or because he would not have her married to any man 
that should carry her out of Genova, did ofte tymes chide 
and reprehende his daughter, for castyng her affection nppon 
that yong gentleman, that was a straunger unto theim, and in 
effecte but a subjecte, though he were bothe of blood and 
richesse equall unto them. 

But for all that the father could doe, or any other of her 
firendes, the fire whiche love had kindled in this yong couples 


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breastes slaked no whit at all, but still encreased, bothe 
hopyng in the ende to winne her freendes good will, and at- 
taine the fraites of their desired love. This yong damsell had 
to her brother a stout and valiant yong gentleman, who being 
offended greatly that Fineo should continue his love towarde 
his sister, and followe the pursute of that whiche he knewe 
well enough her freendes were unwillyng to yeeld unto, had 
caused hym to bee spoken unto, and to be warned that he 
should desiste and leave to sollicite her ; but he for all that 
ceased not, but continued his suite. Wherfore this brother of 
hers determined to make him leave of by foi*ce and dint of 
sworde ; for although there were at that time a very straight 
lawe in the citie that no manne should weare his sworde, and 
paine of death appointed for him that should hurte any man 
with any weapon, yet bothe these gentlemen weare their 
swordes, for that thei bothe had charge of soldiers, that laye 
then in garrison for defence of the citie. 

And havyng one daie mette Fineo in the streate alone, and 
hymself beyng very well accompanied with other gentlemen, 
he beganne to give hym evill language ; and beeyng a gentle- 
man of greate courage, and, though he were a stranger there, 
not beyng able to endure to be injured in words, saied to him 
boldely and roundely againe, that if thei twod were alone he 
durst not use those speeches unto hym 5 for he would well give 
hym to understande that he was no man to take wrong at his 
handes, and that tyme and occasion would serve one daie (he 
doubted not), to make hym knowe that he had offended one 
that would beare no coales. Whereuppon his adversarie, 
havyng drawne forthe his Sworde, whilest he was yet speak- 
yng, ran feercely upon hym, thmkyng to have striken hym ; 
but Fineo, also a verie lustie gentleman, and quicke of eye, 
and nimble of hande, drewe out his sworde, and not onely 
warded the blowe of his encmie, but also hurte hym, though 
but lightly, in the hande. Forthwith thei that were with the 
yong gantlewoman's brother environed hym, and tooke hym 


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prisoner^ and delivered hym into the handes of the magis- 
trate, or cheef officer of the citie. And the penaltie being 
^suche, as is before mentioned, for hurtyng of any man within 
the citie, and especially a gentleman, Fineo was condemned to 
lose his heade. 

Neverthelesse, he beyng yerie well freended, and supported by 
many principall gentlemen of the citie, thei laboured so muche 
for hym, that thei obteined that he should not be behedded, 
but that his penaltie should bee converted unto an other pu- 
nishement, verie little better, if it were no worse 5 for, havyng 
boande hym &ste hande and foote, thei laied hym in a small 
boate, and in verie stormie weather set him in the maine sea, 
and there left him to the rule and government of fortune, and 
to the disposition of God, and mercie of the waves and windes. 
The boate was a long while beaten and tossed by the rage and 
Airie of the seas, and poore Fineo, under diverse and sondrie 
stormes and shapes, had before his eyes a thousande tymes 
the presence of death ; yet in that fearfuU and mortall perill 
he ceased not to call upon the name of his deare Fiamma, and 
in that extremitie and imminent daunger did he yet in manor 
glorifie hym self and thinke hymself happie, that he should 
ende his life for the love of his ladie. 

Whiles he was thus tossed and tormented, still lookyng for 
none other but present death', the tempest began to cease, and 
the storme and rage of seas to bee asswaged, when, loe ! he 
discovered a fregate of Moores that went a reaving, and were 
then newe gone abrode, to spie whether the storme, which was 
then past, had not happely prepared for theim some occasion 
of gaine and bootie. 

These Moores had no sooner discovered this little boate thus 
fleetyng at al], adventures, but hopyng to finde therein some 
prey for their profite, thei made towarde it, and havyng at 
the boardyng thereof founde Fineo bounde hande and foote, 
and perceivyng by his countenaunce and apparell that he was 
no very base person, thei untied him, and sette hym in their 



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iregate as a slave to rowe, untill suche tyme as thei should 
determine further what to doe with hym : who, although that 
servitude and captivitie were greevous unto hym, jet const- 
deryng with hymself that it was better for hym to be in the 
power of men, though thei were infidels, then in the power of 
seas and windes, he comforted hymself that yet, if he lived, he 
might still hope, through the goodnesse of God, one daie to be 
so happie as to enjoye his ladie and love : he framed hym self 
to beare with pacient minde that heavie yoke of his captivitie. 

Fiamma havjmg understoode the unfortunate accidente hap- 
pened to her lover, beleeving certainly that he was dead, and 
that she should never see hym againe, wherefbra she hoBelf 
resolvjoig that she would no longer live, gave herself to devise 
what kinde of death she were best to chuse ; and in doubt 
thereof she passed some fewe daies, dissemblyng still in the 
house her sorowe and greef with a merie and chearfull coun- 
tenance, as though she had cleane forgotten, and not once 
remembred her lover, Fineo : but in the ende, after long de- 
batyng with herself, she resolved to dye the same kinde of 
death, and to make that ende whiche she imagined Fineo 
had doen. 

There was an other gentleman of the oitie, who was no lesse 
enamoured of this gentlewoman than Fineo was, who sup- 
posyng that now, since she sawe there was no remedie for her 
to recover her lover, whom bothe she and all the citie ac- 
compted certainly to be dedde, he might perchaunce, by sute, 
obtaine her good will, and so procure her to bee his wife, with 
the consente of her freendes : and therefore, not long after the 
mischaunce of Fineo, he caused her father to bee dealt withall 
for the bestowyng of his daughter upon hym ; and the fii^er 
beyng willing enough to agree thereunto, and having ques- 
tioned with his daughter thereupon, and findyng her to give 
sober and obedient answere with fewe wordes, presu}q>osyng 
that she was willyng to doe as he would have her, made pro- 
mise of her unto this yong gentleman, and agreed uppon the 


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dowrie, and all other oircumstaunces necessarie for tho cotiplyng 
of twoo Buche persones together. 

The night that went before the daie appoinoted for their 
marriage, Fiamma, calljng unto her a Moore that was slaye 
in her father^s house, and had the keepjng of a small boate of 
the gentleman^ wherein, when he liste to disport hym self, he 
was wont to take the aire upon the sea in tyme of &ire weather, 
and to goe to their houses of pleasure, wherof that coaste is 
Terie plentifull, and theim of exceadyng beautie: whiche 
Moore had lived so many yeres in that tbiraldome, that he was 
now become so olde as she thought, she needed not to feare 
any force or yiolence at his hand^s, she beganne to perswade 
hym to put on a desire to deliyer hymself out of captivitie, so 
as he might live the reste of his yeares in libertie and at his 
ease. Whereunto, findyng hym readie and willyng, if the 
meanes or occasion were oJEFered him, she gave hym in hand a 
good round somme of money, which she had laied together, and 
made him promise to carrie her into the sea in the boate, 
whereof he had the custodie, and afterwardes to doe that, what- 
soever it were, that she should commaunde. 

This wicked and Ihithlesse Moore, seyng hymself not onely to 
purchase his libertie, but also make so greate a gaine of readie 
money, that he was not like at any tyme after to live in wante 
or povertie, was [not] onely thankefoU in his mynde towarde 
iheyonge g^tlewoman, but straight waie beganne to purpose 
and to devise to make a greater gaine of her owne persone, by 
carriyng her unto the Kyng of Tunise, and sellyng of her unto 
hym at a verie high prise ; and with this entention, the mis- 
cheevous knave assured her that he would dooe in all poinctes 
as she would have hym. Wherefore, when all the reste of the 
house were in their firste sleape, the damsell, with this wretched 
Moore, went out of her father^s house, and ^at her into the 
boate, and the weather beyng verie &ire, the knave began to 
rowe and make saile along the coast, towarde Ligomo, from 
whiche, by breake of the daie, they were not verie &rre. When 



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this yong gentlewoman sawe that she was now so far from 
home, that she needed not to feare to bee driven backe againe 
to Genova, she willed the Moore to rowe to the shore, and to 
lande himself, and then to shove of the boate againe ; for that 
her determination was so to dye, swallowed up with the waves 
of the sea, as she supposed her Fineo to have been. But the 
wicked knave, who had a farther fetche in his bed, and 
thoughtes farre diflfered from the gentlewoman^s, made her be- 
leeve that thei were yet nere unto Genova, and advised her to 
bee content, that thei might goe somewhat &rther, to the ende 
that her father, if he sent after them, might not overtake 

Neverthelesse, she havyng often tymes urged hym to doe as 
she erste bad hym, and he still protracted the tyme, and shift- 
ing her offe with one tale or an other, she began to suspect his 
drift. The momyng, therefore, beyng well spent, she made as 
though sbe would have looked over the boate side into the 
water, or have washed her handes in the sea, and on the 
sodaine would have caste herself over boarde ; but the craftie 
Moore, suspectyng her entent, caught holde of her aboute the 
middle, and not onely held her from throwyng herself into the 
sea, but also bounde her faste hande and foote : and whereas 
she of her cpurtesie had bothe set hym at libertie, and libe- 
rallie bestowed good store of wealth upon hym, he, as a trea- 
cherous infidell, bereved her of her libertie, makyng her an 
unfortunate slave under his disposition, and beyng moved with 
a greedie, covetous mynde, thought that too little whiche she 
had given him, and therefore determined, as is afore saied, to 
sell her persone, and to encrease his goodes by that meanes. 

The desolate damsell, when she sawe herself so used by 
that viUaine, full of woe and greef, ceased not to rebuke the 
vilde caitive, that little regarded her speeches, the breache of 
his faithe and promise, and blamyng her self for trustyng of 
hym, and then repented, when it was too late, that she had 
not obeyed her father, and followed the advise of her frendes, 


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she began to curse her destinie^ and her cruell fortune, and to 
crie out uppon the heavens, that had made her become the un- 
forcunatest yong woman that ever loved man. And whilest 
she was thus lamentyng her hard happe, and the Moore as &8te 
as he could with his owres labouryng to speede his voiage, a 
little foiste, or galley of Moores, that wente prollyiig up and 
doune the coaste, havyng espied the small boate, drewe nere 
imto it, and boorded it. And havyng founde this yong gentle- 
woman, beeyng bounde therein, thei would have taken her 
awaie ; but the old knave offeryng to resist them, and to keepe 
her out of their handes, thei tooke her awaie from hym per- 
force, and woundyng hym very sore, and asked of her in 
their language from whence she came, and what she was ! But 
she, not understandyng theim, could make them no aunswere, 
but onely, with teares and wepyng, make them to understande 
that she was a wofuU and unfortunate damsell : but the olde 
Moore, feelyng hym self wounded to death, before he died 
tolde theim bothe of what place and parentage she was, and 
laied before them, by plaine reason, how greate a bootie thei 
might accoumpte thei had made that momyng, if thei did carrie 
her unto the Kyng of Tunise (as he had thought to have doen) 
and sell her unto hym. Hee beeyng dedde, thei dispoiled 
hym, and tooke from hym all that whiche Fiamma had given ; 
and so he, havyng thought by treacherie and breakyng of his 
&ithe to make greate gaine, loste bothe his life and all that 
whiche he had gotten of the unadvised, and evill counselled 
yong gentlewoman : and, havyng placed her in their foist, and 
comforted her aswell as thei could, thei tooke their waie straight 
toward Tunise. 

It fortuned that the other fregate of Moores, that had founde 
and taken Fineo, (as is alreadie saied before) met with this other 
foiste, or galleie, wherein Fiamma was, and assaulted it ; and 
havyng fought together a good while, (for that the other resisted, 
and defended themselves stoutly) in fine, the fregate wherein 
Finio was (who in the encounter and dury ng the fight had shewed 


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greate valour emoiig the reste) oyercame the other, aod tooke 
from them all that thei had : so that Fiamma and Fineo wore 
bothe now together, in the compaase of one smal vessell. And 
although in that extremitie of bothe their eyill fortnnee, it was 
a greate comfort for theae twoo lovers to see one the other, and 
that bothe longed and desired extremely to embrace eche other, 
and to tell the one to the other their accidentes and unfortu- 
nate adventures, neverthelesse, Bineo made signes to Fiamm* 
that in nowise she should take knowledge or acquaintaunce of 
hym; and accordyngly she dissembled and made no shewe, 
but as one had never seen hym. 

Fineo, for the valour and courage whiche he had shewed in. 
the battaile, was delivered of his chaines, and muche made of 
emong the Moores, untill suche tyme as thei had conducted 
bothe hym and her (as thei did verie shortly after) unto the. 
Eyng of Tunise; who havyng seen and considered Fineo, 
and understoode by the pirates that his comelie personage was 
accompanied with greate valour, bought him and tooke hym. 
to his service, in good place nere his owne persone. And beyng 
moved with the beautie of the yong gentilwoman, bargained* 
for her likewise for a greate somme of money, and caused her 
to be put in the cube, whiche is a place where he keepeth his 
concubines (as the Turke doeth in his seraglio) emong a greate 
many of other women, and esteemed her verie much for that 
the rovers (who had learned of those other that thei overcame 
all that whiche the olde Moore had declared unto them of her 
callyng and condition) did assure him that she was a gentle- 
woman, borne of a noble familie in Geneva. 

Fineo, by his service and discret behaviour, became in short 
tyme verie deare unto the Kyng, so that in lesse then the 
space of one whole yeare, the Kyng of speciall trust gave hym 
the charge of the gate of the cube, whiche office the Eynges of 
Tunise are never wont to give but unto suche as are in singular 
&vour aboute theim. In the whiche FineOj to his greate con- 
tentment, had the commoditie daiely to see his Fiamma, and 


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she had do lesde oomforte and satisfaction to beholde and looke 
upon hym ; whiche opdrtnnitie thei enjoyed and handeled so 
dtscretly, that thei never gave any cause of suspition to any 
persone of their fervent good will and affection. 

The manor or eustome of the Kyng was, to cause his concu- 
bines to come unto him, and to lye with them by order, as 
thei had been bought or come to his handes; by reason of 
whiche eustome, for that there were very many bought before 
the commyng thether of Fiamma, there was alreadie a whole 
yeare and a halfe welnie paste after her sale, and yet her tume 
was not come to be called for. But. remainyng now but three 
others to be brought unto the Kyng before her, Fineo con- 
sideryng to his intollerable greefe that she was, ere it were 
long, to be likewise called for, beganne to be tormented with 
incredible passion and anguishe of mynde : and his woe en- 
creased tenne thousand folde, by feare and imagination whiche 
he conceived that she, being above all the Kynges concubines 
farre the fairest, when he had once enjoyed her he would take 
her to be one of his wives, whiche feare did no whitte lesse tor- 
ment and afflicte Fiamma then it did her lover. 

Whilest bothe these yong lovers lived in this sorte, there 
chaunced to arrive at Tunise a shippe of Savona, with certaine 
marchauntes of that citie, who seeyng Fineo there, and knowyng 
hym, were wonderfully amarveiled, findyng hym alive, for that 
he had been lamented at Savona of all his freendes for dedde. 
Fineo, likewise, knowyng those marchauntes, and havyng auc- 
thoritie and meanes to pleasure them in the court, welcomed 
them, and made muche <^ them in freendly sorte ; and de- 
maundyng of the state and wel&re of his &ther and brother, 
and other ireendes, thei certified hym that thei were all well, 
and that when thei should understande that he was alive and 
in so good a case, thei would be very joyfuU, and think them- 
selves happie if thei might hope to see hym once come agaiue, 
as thei doubted not but one daie he would and might. 

These marchantes havyng dispatched their businesse, de- 


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parted thence, and by theim Fineo wrote letters to his father, 
and to his brother, certifiyng them of his beyng in Tanise, and 
how that Fiamma was with hym, and that he desired to deliver 
hymself out of bondage, and her with hym, whiche thyng he 
thou|i;ht he might easily bring to passe, if his brother would 
come thither ; and with all described unto them a plot whiche 
he had cast for the execution of his entent and desire. 

Thei beyng returned safe unto Savona, deliyered the letters 
unto the father and brother of Fineo, who with the rest of 
bis freendes, and in effecte all the whole citie, were verie glad 
that his fortune had not been altogether so firoward toward 
hym as thei had supposed. 

And his brother, accordyng to his instructicms, prepared a 
verie pretie fregat, verie well appointed and ftimished with 
merchaundize, emong whiche there were many trifles and 
thynges of price, meete for ladies and gentlewomen. And 
beyng arrived therewith at Tunise, Fineo brought them unto 
the kyng, whom thei presented with some thynges of small 
price, whiche were very gratefuU and acceptable unto him, and 
emong other speeches, thei saied that thei had abord many 
pretie thynges for dames and ladies, whiche thyng the kyng 
understandyng, commaunded Fineo that the chefest of them 
might be brought into the cube, to shewe suehe thingos as thei 
had unto his concubines: by which occasion he gatte that 
oportunitie whiche he looked for, to conferre and deale more 
privatly with them, without suspition, and to give the better 
order for the accomplishment of asmuch as he had devised. 

Fineo and his brother, therfore, beyng come into the cube, 
shewed forthe emong those women suche wares as they had 
brought to please their fancies, and gave unto theim all some 
one trifle or an other, as a gentle present to the firste ; and the 
brother of Fineo presented Fiamma, emong the reste, with a 
very faire purse, richely embrodered with golde and pearle, in 
the whiche there was enclosed a letter, written by Fineo, by 
the contentes whereof she might understande at large al that 

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whiche he did wishe and would have her to doe, to make their 
escape together, and to ridde them selyes out of that thraldom 
and captivitie. Assone as the twoo brethren had doen that 
thei came for, and were departed, Fiamma, by their manner 
gatheryng that the gift of that purse conteined some mis- 
terie, withdrewe herself into a secrete place, and havyng opened 
it, she founde therein the letter, whiche when she had redde, 
she thanked Almightie God, that of his goodnesse had shewed 
her the waie to deliver herself out of captivite, and from be- 
comming dishonestly the concubine of an infidell kyng. 

And when this appointed daie for the performing of their 
purpose was come, Fiamma in the night, when all was silent 
and others slept, came to a windowe barred with iron, where 
Fineo and his brother were attendyng for her, who, with cer- 
taine instrumentes, which thei had brought for that purpose, 
brake and wrested the grate of the window, and takyng her 
awaie with them, thei gotte her into their barque, and hoissed 
saile, and directed their course with a merie winde toward the 
coaste of Italie, whiche served theim verie &ire all that night 
long, and the moste parte of the nexte daie. In the momyng, 
Fiamma beyng missed, and Fineo likewise, the Kyng was ad- 
vertised of their eskape, who perceivyng the marchauntes to be 
gone also, rested assured that it was a sette match made for 
the stealyng of Fiamma awaie. And be^g fiill of rage and 
despight towardes them all, he caused certaine galleis and other 
light vesselles to be armed in all haste, and to be sent after 
them, givyng straight charge and commission to his captaines 
that either thei should bring Fineo and the damsell, with the 
cheef of the marchauntes, alive unto hym, because he would 
cause them all three to be buried alive, or that if thei could 
not get them alive, thei should bring their three heddes, for 
that he would have them be set over the cube, for an example 
and a terrour to all others. 

But before those gallies and other yesselles could bee in a 
readinesse to departe, Fortune, not havyng yet her fill of per- 


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secutyng and afflictyi^ these two poore lovers, caased a o<hi- 
trarie winde^ with an extreame storme and tempeBt to arise, by 
force whereof the vessell wherein thei were was not without 
greats daonger driven backe againe to Tanise, with so mache 
greefe and sorrows of all them that were in it, as they maie 
imagine that knowe the cnieltie and barbarousnesse of that 
people. But in the begynning of the storme, the brother of 
Fineo, dispairyng of his life, as he that was assured either to 
be drouned by rage of the winde and seas, or els to die in tor- 
ment if he retoumed into the hands of those infidels, gat him- 
self into his cockboate, and therein hazarded his life ; and after 
mache adoe, and a thoosande perilles of present death, reco- 
vered the coaste of Italie at the last, and retoumed home to 
Savona, full of woe, with heavie tidynges, declaryng unto his 
&ther, that either the fregate would be lost, or els driven backe 
againe to Tunise, where he was well assured that bothe his 
brother and the yong damsell, his lover, should bee murthei^ 
in moste cruell manor* 

At whiche doleftill newes, the father, as if he had scene his 
soonne lye dedde before hym, beganne to weepe and lamente, 
complainyng of his harde destinie, that caused hym to live so 
long, or reserved hym to see those cruell and bitter daies. 

Fineo, seeyng-hymself brought to so harde an exigent, for 
that their vessell was«now driven backe nere unto Tunise, and 
knowyng that he should feele the smarte of his &ulte, and the 
kynges anger in sharpest manor and sorte, beyng determined 
to live no longer, and to prevent the crueltie o£ the kyng, 
drewe out his sworde, and would therewith have stroken hym 
self to death. But Fiamma, catchyng hym by the arme : Alas ! 
Fineo, (% she) what shall become of me, if you bee dead i Shall 
I remaine behinde to endure the cruell tormentes, that I knowe 
this iufidell hath prepared for me t Yet rather, since that death 
must needes deliver us of our misfortunes, before you execute 
uppon yourself this your determination, ridde me out of the 
worlde, and deliver me fix^m the paines which alreadie I feele 


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in mj ima^nation, wherewith I assure myself the! wiU bryng 
me to a shameM death. And with these woordes, offeryng her 
breast nnto him, she requested him to strike her with his 
Bwoorde ; but Fineo bad her bee of good comforte, for your 
beautie my Fiamma, (saied he) beeyng so singular as it is, I 
knowe will save you, and th»«fore you neede not feare, and I 
alone should be the muine that thei would plague, and torment 
to death for us bothe, and therefore, my deare, suffer me to dye 
before, and content tiiy self to live, and Youchaafe sometyme to 
remember thy unfortunate Fineo when he is dedde. 

Whilest thei were thus talkyng and debatyng whiche should 
firste dye, the people whiche the kyng had sent out to appro- 
hende them came and bourded their fregate, and tooke them 
bothe, whom thei bound in chaines, and brought on land to 
the presence of the king, who, assone as he beheld the beautie 
of Fiamma, felte his former wrathe and crueltie entended to 
relent, and in muche milder maner then the two captives hoped 
or looked for, he saied unto her : Tell me what moved you, I 
praie you, fiure damsell, to runne awaie, and flie from me, at 
whose handes you had no cause to looke for any other entreatie 
than lovyng or freendlie I 

Fiamma, who in that yere and a halfe that she had been in 
the cube, had learned the language indifferently well, made 
aunswere unto hym, that no cause or meanyng to flie from 
hym, but her earnest desire to enjoye Fineo, whom she had 
loved and chosen f6r her housbande many yeares before, had 
forced her to doe that whiche she had doen : and herewith she 
told him the beginning of their acquaintance and love, and how 
many perilles and daungers thei had run through, still hopyng 
one daie to come unto that happie houre, wherein their troubles 
should have an ende, and that thei might bee honestlie united 
and enjoye one an other : and finallie, castyng her self doune 
at his feete, with aboundaunce of tearee, she besought hym 
with all humilitie to pardone her, if she. had offended him, 
and withal to forgive Fineo, since that long and faithftil 


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loye had made thein to procure the accomplishement of their 

The teares of Fiamma, and the onelie name of lore, were 
of suche force and vertue in the harte of the Kyng, thongh he 
were barbarous and cruell of nature, that the ire and hatred, 
whiche he had conceived against them before, was then con- 
verted and changed into pitie and compassion of their mis- 
fortunes ; and where before he had appointed a cruell death to 
bee their punishments, he now determined to overcome with. 
his courtesie the firowardnesse of their perverse fortune, and 
to make them, after so many perilles and^ dangers, contented 
and happie, and to see an end at last of their miserieer, 
by making them to enjoye their long Iio'ped-for desires. 
Wherefore, havyng caused them to be bothe forthwith un- 
bounde, he tooke from his owne finger a merveilous faire and 
precious rubie, and giving it unto Fineo he saied unto him, 
" Since your fortune hath bin suche, that after so many 
strange adventures, and through suche daungers, you are 
fallen into my handes, I, for my parte, will not be he that 
will extinguishe or quence the flames of so fervent and con- 
staunte love, or unloose or dissolve the bandes wherewith your 
hartes bee bounde and knitte together : and therefore, Fineo, 
I doe not onely pardon you bothe, but also I will have thee, 
before thou departe hence, to wedde this damsell with this 
ryng, and to take her for thy wife, and that she henceforth 
enjoye thee for ever as her housbande.'" It is not to be de- 
maunded whether the two lovers (who looked for none other 
of the kynges courtesies then death) were glad to hear hym 
use those speeches, yea or no; but bothe beeyng fallen on 
their knees, and in humblest manor having yeelded their 
thankes unto his majestic, Fineo, in his presence, wedded 
Fiamma, and tooke her for his wife, to the unspeakable joye 
and contentation of bothe their hartes and myndes ; and the 
kyng, to honour their manage, caused a sumptuous feaste to 
be prepared, with no lesse charge and aboundance of all 


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thiDges, then if he had married a daughter of his owne to 
some greate lorde or chiefe man of that coontrey. 

And after certaine daies, the two yong maried lovers beyng 
desirous to retoume into their owne countrey, he gave them 
reiy riche and costly presentee, and sent them, honourably 
aeeompanied, home to Savona; whose arivall was no lesse 
manreilous then joyftil to the father and brother of Fineo, and 
to all the citie, thei havyng been assuredly esteemed and ac- 
compted as deade. Afterwards thei sent to Geneva to Fiam- 
ma^s father and brother, certifiyng of al that had happened, 
who then perswading them selves that God and nature had 
created those two yong folke to bee matched and joyned to- 
gether in wedlocke, were well contented with that whiche thei 
saw was God^s will should be ; and beeyng gone both to Sa- 
vona, the &ther embraced and accepted Fineo for his sonne- 
in-lawe, and the brother for his brother-in-lawe. And the 
two yong lovers lived ever after in greate happinesse and feli- 
citie, givyng, by this successe of their harde fortune, an 
assured argument, and a notable example, whereby we maie 
leame, that though froward fortune doe for a while crosse and 
molest the desires and travailes of men, yet in the ende she 
can not let, but that of necessitie those thinges must come to 
passe, whiche God, by his devine providence, wherewith he 
mleth the whole world, hath appointed shal take effecte. 


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Tito brothers making ghoyse of their wivesj the one chouse for 
beautie^ the other for riches : it happened unto them^ after thei 
were married^ the one of their unves proved to be of light dis- 
position^ the other a common scolde : in what maner thei liwd 
witii their housbandes^ and how in the ende iJie first became to 
live orderly and weU^ but the other could be brought by no 
devise to any reason or good maner. 

Gentlewomen, before I will proceede any farther in this 
historie, I muste desire you to arme yourselves with pacience 
in readyng hereof, that if you finde anything that might 
breede offence to your modeste mjmdes, take it in this sorte, 
that I haye written it onely to make you merrie, and not to 
sette you a snarryng or grudgyng against me ; for although I 
meane to present you with a chapter of knaverie, yet it shall 
be passable, and suche as you maie very well permit, and the 
matter that I minde to wright is upon this question, whether 
a man were better to bee married to a wise harlot, or to a 
foolishe oTerthwart and brauling woman ! This question, I 
know, will seeme very doubtfal unto some, and yet in my 
opinion very easie to bee aunswered : and to speake my 
mynde without dissimulation of bothe those evilles, I thinke 
the first is least, and therefore is to be chosen ; and herein I 
could alledge for my better proofe an example of the auncient 
Bomaines, who in all their govemmentes were moste wise and 
politique, amongst whom the infirmitie of the firste was borne 


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vrithall, because it proceaded of the frailtie of the fleshe, but 
the outrage of the second was eyer condemned, for that it did 
abounde from a wicked and mischevous mjnde. And in com- 
mon reason is it not lesse noisome for a man to live accom- 
panied with a wife, who, although she will some tyme flie out, 
can 80 wisely dissemble with her housebande, that he shall 
never so muche as suspecte her, whereby he shall receive no 
discontentment in his minde, then to be bedfellowe with 
Xantippa, a common scold, who daiely and hourely will be 
checkyng, tauntyng, and railyng at him in J9uch sorte, that he 
nhall thinke hymself moste blest and happie when he is fii>r- 
thest from her companie! But for your better confirmation I 
have set forthe this historic of twoo brethren, the one of them 
married to a wenche that could so cunnynglie behave herself 
iowardes hym, that he had thought she had beloved th^*e had 
been no other God but himself, and yet, by your leave, she 
would take reason when it was profiered her, but what of 
that? the harte never greeves what the eyes see not. The > 
other was married to a dame, that from her navill douneward 
was more chast and continent, but otherwise of her tong suche 
a devill of helle, that the poore man her housbande could 
never enjoye merrie daie nor houre, although he devised many 
a pretie remedie, as by the readyng of the processe of this tale 
you shall better perceive, whiche followeth in this sorte. 

There was somtime remainyng in a &mous citie twoo bre- Y 
thren : the eldest (accordyng to the custome of the place) en- 
joyed his father'^s goodes and possessions after his death, 
wherby he was well able to live; the yongest had neither 
landes nor livynges, saving that his &ther had trained hym up 
in learning, whereby he was able to goveme hymself in all 
maner of companies where soever he became. These twoo 
brethren, beyng wearie of their single lives, disposed them- 
selves to manage. The eldest, beeyng of hymself well able 
to live, sought a wife onely for her beauty, without any other 
respect either to her conditions or riches, and as the proverbe 


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is (he that sekes shall finde) so in the ende he lighted on a 
gentlewoman, called by the name of Mistres Dorithe, whose 
beantie in deede was verie excellent, and there withall had a 
passyng readie witte, marie her trainyng up had not been 
after the beste nor worst maner, but, as a man might saie, 
after the common sorte: this gentlewoman he married, who 
could so well handle hym with kissyges, cuUynges, and other 
amaroos exercises, that her housebande thought hymself the 
most fortunate manne that lived to light on suche a wife, 
although she cunnyngly armed his hedde with homes, as aft^r 
you shall heare. 

The second brother left (as you have heard) without main- 
tenance or livyng, sought for a wife onely to releve his want, 
and fortuned to hit of a widowe, in deede, with greate wealthe, 
but in conditions so overthwart, and so spitftiU of her tongue, 
that the poore man had not been married fuUie out a moneth, 
but he more then a thousande tymes cursed the priest that 
married hym, the sexton that opened the churche doore when 
he went to bee married, yea, and his owne unhappie legges, 
that had carried his bodie to bee yoked to so greate a mis- 
cheef. But because I doe minde more orderly to tell you the 
manors of these twoo gentlewomen, I will firste beginne with 
Mistres Doritie, whose housebande, after thei had been a 
while maried, fortuned to fidl sicke ; and then, accordyng to 
that countrey manor, a doctor of phisicke was presently sent 
for, who commyng many times to visite his pacient, began to 
beholde and contemplate the lively beautie of this gentle- 
woman, and lent her many rowlyng lookes and secrete coun- 
tenaunces in suche sorte, that Mistres Doritie beyng well 
practised in the arte of love, and seyng Maister Doctor to be 
a man as sufficient to content a gentlewoman in her chamber 
that was whole, as to minister medicines to those that were 
sicke, did not onely requite hym againe with looke for looke, 
but she yeelded hym a large usurie, and paid him more then 
fourtie in the hundred. Master Doctor, who was likewise 


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skilftill enough, could well perceive whereto those lookes did 
tende, upon a tjme beyng alone 19 her companie, he saied 
unto her as foUoweth. >^ 

Mistres Doritie, if the experience wljdche I have learned in 
Phisickes arte might crave credite, and make my tale to bee 
the better beleeyed, assure yourself, then, that I minde to saie 
nothyng but that that shall bee to your owne behoofe ; and the 
reason that makes me to enter into this discourse, is the pitie 
that I take to see so proper a gentlewoman as yourself should 
bee so deceived in a housebande, who, although you shall finde 
hym bothe honeste, gentle, and lovyng, yea, and peradrenture 
male contente you with suche rightes as appertaine to the mar- 
riaGfe bedde, yet assure yourself he shall never be able to get 
you with child, consideryng your natures and complexions be 
so fiure different the one from the other, whereby you are like 
for ever to remaine without issue : and one of the greateste 
comfortes that male happen unto us in this worlde is to see 
ourselves, as it were, regenerate and borne anewe in our chil- 
dren, and barrenesse in the auncient tyme, hath been accompted 
not onely infamous, but also moste hatefiiU emongst women, in 
80 muche that Sara gave her owne handmaide to her house- 
band, because she could not herself conceive a child ; but I 
would wishe women more witte then t-o foUowe Sarahs example. 
God defende thei should be so foolishe to give their maidens to 
their housebandes ; I would wishe them rather themselves to 
take their menne: it hath been ever holden for the greater 
wisedome, rather to take then to give ; and sure thei shal finde 
it more for their owne profites, that if their housbandes want 
be suche, that he is not able to get a child, to take helpe of 
some other that male supplie his imperfections. But I trusts I 
shall not neede to use many perswasions, consideryng that 
every wise woman will thinke that 1 have reason on my side. 
Thus, Mistres Doritie, you have heard the somme of my taile, 
protestyng, that if my service maie any waies stande you in 



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Bteade, I am as readie to ol^e, as he over whom yon have 
power to oommaunde. ^' 

Mistres Doritie, who all this while had well pondered hifl 
woordes, knewe verie Veil how to whet Maister Doctor on, and 
the more to set his teeth on edge, amiswered hym thner. I per- 
ceive, Maister Doctor, you are something pleasantly disposed, 
and hereafter, when I shall find my housbandes infirmitie to 
be suche as you have saied, I meane to sonde for yon, deeiryng 
you that you would not be out of the waie, to helpe me when I 
have neede. 

The Doctour knewe not well how to understande these 
wordes, whether thei were merily spoken, or otherwise in dis- 
daine of his former talke, aunswered thus. Alas, Mistres 
Doritie, pardon me if my woordes seeme anythyng offensive 
unto you, assuryng you that in this meane space that I have 
made my recourse to your housebande, (whose healthe, by the 
sufferance of God, I have now well restored) am myself falne 
into a fever so extreame, as neither Galen, Hypocrates, Avicen, 
Pliny, nor any other that ever gave rules of phisicke, could yet 
prescribe a medicine for the malladie, or diet to suppresse the 
humour that feedes it. I shall not neede to use longe circum* 
staunce in the matter, knowyng your wisedome to bee suche, 
that you can well conceive the somme of all my greef : it is 
your beautie that is like to breede my bane, and hath alreadie 
driven me into the greatest depth of daunger, unlesse some 
plaintes of pitie maie prevaile, to yeelde remorse to hym that 
vowes hymself to doe you service duryng li&. 

Mistres Doritie, seyng the matter sorted out as she looked 
for, could tell well enough how to handle Maister Doctor, and 
to make hym the more eger, she delaied hym of with doubtfoU 
speeches, but yet fedde hym still with suche entisyng and plea- 
saunt countenaunces, that ministered greate hope of comfort to 
his disease : ' she aunswered thus. 

And could you then finde in your harte, Maister Doctor, to 
deceive your very freend of his deare and lovyng wife! How 


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€an you offer hym so manifest an injurie, to whom you are so 
lately linckt in so greate a league of freendship as is betweene 
my houseband and yourself! I can not think, Maister Doctor, 
that it is good will that hath caused you to move this sute unto 
me, but rather to see how I were disposed ; or peradventure 
you use these wordes for exercise sake, knowyng the fashion of 
you men to bee suche, as by praisyng of our beautie you thinke 
to bring us into a fooles paradyse, yf we wil give credite straight 
waie, that you love us so soone as you shall but tell us the 
tale : but for my part, Maister Doctor, although I want wit to 
encounter you with wordes, so likewise I want wit to beleve 
any thing that you have said to be otherwise then wordes of 

These speeches did ingender suche a nomber of swete and 
flowre alterations in Maister Doctor, that for his life he wiste 
not how to understande them : one while thei were like to drive 
hym to dispaire, an other while thei somethyng quieted hym 
with hope, but in the ende determinyng to foUowe what he had 
begonne, he saied. 

Swete mistres, moste humbly I desire you to accompt of 
me, not according to my desertes, which as yet are none at all, 
but accordyng to the dutifiill service whiche hereafter I vowe 
^Buthfnlly to doe unto you ; and for the better tostimonie of my 
wordes, which, as you sale, seme to be of suche ordinary course, 
I desire no other credite male be given theim then shall bee 
agreable to my deedes, when it shall please you to commaunde. 
But alas for the injurie which you speake of, that I should offer 
to your housebande, who In deede I make accompt to bee my 
verie freende, what is he, I praie you, that is able to prescribe 
lawes to love I And as love is without lawcj so it is without 
respect, either of freende or foe, &ther or brother, riche or 
poore, mightie or weake, vertuous or vicious : the examples are 
80 many and generall, that I should but waste the time to re- 
peate them. But, Mistres Doritie, I proteste, the verie cause 
that roaketh me to move this matter unto you is for no ill will 



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that I bear to your housbande, but for the good wil I beare ta 
your swete self: you maie use your housbande as your hous- 
bande, and me as your freende, glad to stande at reversion, 
when your housebande maie take his fill of the banket, and be 
glutted with more then enough : farther, if you make so greate 
aceompte of your honsbandes good likyng, as you saie, what 
wives be ever better beloved, or more made of by their hous- 
bandes, then those that have discretion to helpe their frendes 
when thei neede ! But what sottishe opinion is this, whiche so 
many doeth holde, that they thinke it so greate an injurie for 
a man to seke the wife of his freende, when he is attached by 
love, whose arrest neither goddes nor men have bin ever able 
to resist ? But I praie you. Mistress Doritie, if I might aske 
you this question, would you not thinke your good will better 
bestowed upon your housbandes freende then his foe ! if you 
love your housebande, I am sure you wil saie I have reason. 
What should I longer trouble you then with circumstances ? I 
knowe you are wise, and now I desire you, for the good will 
that you beare to your housebande, to pitie me, his freende, 
whom I trust you will restore with one drop of mercy, and 
the rather for your honsbandes sake. 

How thinke you, gentlewomen, bee not these gentle per- 
swasions to bee used by a Doctor ! Marie, he was no Doctor 
of Divinitie, and therefore you neede not foUowe his doctrine, 
unlesse you liste yourselves; but this pitifuU gentlewoman, 
seyng Maister Doctor at such derperate poinctes, for feare of 
damning of her owne soule, that so deare a freende to her 
housbande, as Maister Doctor was, should perishe and bee so 
wilfiiUy caste awaie through her de&ult, she received hym for 
her freend ; and so I praie God give them joye. 

But it fortuned afterwardes this gentlewoman to light into 
the companie of a lawier, who perceivyng this dame to be of 
suche excellent beautie, joynyng hymself something nere her, 
he sated. Gentlewoman, although I have no skill in the arte 
of paintyng, yet assure your self, your forme and passing 


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beautie is so sorely engraven and fixed in my mynde, that 
although yourself were absent, I could drawe your perfect 
counterfecte, savyng that I thinke all the apothecaries in this 
citie were not able to fumishe me with colours to make the 
perfecte distaine of the beautie in your face. 

Mistres Doritie,knowyng whereto these speeches pretended, 
aunswered. Indeede, sir, it should seeme you would prove a 
passyng painter, that can so cunnyngly painte forthe with 
wordes that whiche I knowe is too farre unworthie of so ex- 
cellent a florishe as you would give it. — Mistres, (q^ the Lawier) 
if I have committed any offence in these woordes whiche I 
have spoken, it is in that I have taken upon me to praise your 
beautie, and not able to give it suche due commendations as I 
see it doeth deserve, the sight whereof doeth so captivate my 
affections, and hath so creepled all my senees, that it hath 
caused me in manor to forgette myself: no marvaile, then, 
though my tongue doeth faile, and is not able to expresse the 
perfection of you, unto whom with vowe of continuall service I 
subjecte my life, livyng, and libertie, if it please you to accept 
of it. 

This gentlewoman, that had yet but one freende to truste 
uppon besides her housbande, beganne to thinke that store was 
no sore, and therefore determined not to forsake his irendlie 
offer, but firste she demaunded of hym of his fecultie, and what 
trade of life he used i to whiche he aunswered, that he was a 
gentleman appertainyng to the lawe. It maie well bee so, 
(q^ she) for I perceive, by your experience, that this is not the ; 
firste plea that you have framed. — And yet beleeve me, (q^ the 
Lawier) I was never brought before to pleade at beauties barre, 
but sithe my happe is suche, I humblie holde up my handes, 
desiryng to be tried by your courtesie and myne owne loialtie, 
content3aig myself to abide suche dome and judgement as it 
shall please you to appoincte, beeyng the cheef and soveraigne 
judge yourself. She repliyng saied : Seeyng you have con- 
stituted me to give sentence at ray pleasure, it is not the office 


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of a good justicer to bee parciall in his owne cauBe ; and there* 
fore, this is the hope you shal looke for at my handes, that if 
hereafter in your deedes I shall see as plaine proofe of perfeete 
good will, as your woordes by pretence importe likelyhood of 
earnest lore, you shall finde me ready to render suche recom- 
pence as shall &11 out to your owne contentation and likyng. 

This comfortable aunswere yerie well pleased hym; and 
within a verie little space after, he so handeled the matter, 
that he had entered his action in her common place. 

Thus, what betweene Maister Doctor on the one side, wha 
was still ministeryng of phisicke unto her, so long as th^e were 
any drugges remainyng in his storehouse, and the Lawi^ on 
the other side, who sufficiently enstructed her with his lawe, 
thei used suche haunt unto this gentlewoman^s companie, that 
the one b^anne to growe suspicious on the other, and eche of 
theim desirous to have her severall to hymself, beganne in the 
ende to envaigh the one against the other ; the Doctor against 
the Lawier, and the Lawier against the Doctor, and to tel her 
to her &ce what thei suspected, the one against the other. But 
Mistres Doritie, beeyng very angry with theim bothe, thai 
would so narrowlie looke into her doynges, did thinke it had 
been sufficient for reasonable men that she had received ihem 
into her &vour, and as ofti^n as it had pleased them to come 
she welcomed them as themselves did desire : and what can a 
man desire any more then to drinke so oflien as he shalbe a 
thirste! But with &ire speeches she contented them bothe for 
a tyme ; but she thought in th'ende to finde a remedy for that 

And thus it fell out, that a Souldiour, who vras lately re* 
toumed from the warres, I gesse aboute the same tyme that 
Kyng Henry the Fift was retoumed from the winnyng of 
Agincourt feelde, this Souldiour, I saie, bravyng it out aboute 
the streates of the citie, (as commonly the custome of soul- 
diours is, to spend more in a moneth then thei get in a yere) 
as he roomed to and fro, and fortuned to espie this blasyng 


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staire lookyng out at a windowe, was sodaiiily stroken into a 
greate[r] maze to Bee this lampe of light, then ever he had been 
in the feelde to see the ensignes of his enemies ; and was so 
fiirre oyercharged with her lore, that, but for feare to have been 
marked by the passers by, he would have stoode still gazyng 
and lookyng uppon her, but leamyng, in the ende, that she 
was the mistres of the house, he began to devise how he might 
make her understande the fervencie of his love, on whiche he 
determined to write unto her. But then he knewe not how to 
beginne his letter, because souldiours are verie seldome accus- 
tomed to endite, especially any of these lovyng lines ; and to 
speake unto her, he was likewise to leame how to use his 
tearmes : neither wiste he how to come into her presence ; but 
you shall see Fortune &voured hym, for in an evenyng, as he 
passed through the streate, she was sittyng alone in her doore 
to take the aire, and commyng unto her, not knowyng for his 
life how to begin his tale, in the ende, Mistres, (% he) I praie 
you, is your housebande within? 

No, surely, sir, (q^ she) he is abroade in the toune, but I 
knowe not where. And I would gladlie have spoken with 
hym, (c^ the Souldiour) if he had ben within. Beleeve me, sir, 
he is not within, (q^ she) but if it please you to leave your 
arrande with me, at his commyng home, I will shew hym your 
minde. in fiuth, mistres, (q^ the Souldiour) my arrande is not 
greate : I would but have craved his helpe in chusyng me a 
wife, because I perceive he hath some experience in the &cultie, 
or eh think he could never have chosen so well for hymself. 
If your arrande be no other then this, (q^ Mistres Doritie) you your owne leisure come and doe it yourself; and as for 
my housbandes experience that you speake of, although perad* 
venture it bee not fittyng to your £Emcie, yet I am well assured 
that he hath made his choyse of suche a one as he hymself very 
wel liketh. I believe it well, (<^ the Souldiour) and if without 
offence I might speake it, I sweare, so God help me, I like his 
ehoise so wel, that I would thinke myself more then a thousand 


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tymed happie, if I might be his halfe i or if my unwortbinesse 
deserved not so greate a portion, I would craye no more ihea 
yourself would willingly bestow on me, accordyngly as you 
should see me able to deserve it. Why, sir, (q^ Mistres Doritie) 
I doe not understande whereunto your speeches doeth tende, 
neither what part you would have me to give you, when I have 
alreadie bestowed of my housebande bothe my hande, my harte, 
my minde, and good will. Alas ! gentlewoman, (% the Soul- 
diour) these bee none of them that I would crave : there is yet 
an overplus whiche you have not yet e^ken of, whiche, if you 
please to bestow of a souldiour, I should think myself the hap- 
piest man alive, whose love and good likyng towardes you is 
suche, that I trust, in tyme to come, yourself will, judge me 
worthie for my well deservyng zeale to have deserved hire. 
Souldiours are seldome scene (q^ Mistres Doritie) to marche 
under the banner of Venus ; but what so ever you bee, doe yon 
thinke to overthrowe my vertues with the assault of your wan- 
ton perswasions, or would you make me beleeve that you love 
me as you sale, when you have no more respect to the hurt of 
my soule i Gentlewoman, (q^ the Souldiour) I am not able to 
encounter you with wordes, because it hath not been my pro- 
fession, nor trainyng up, but if you doubte of my love and good 
likyng, please it you to make triall : commaund anythyng that 
your self shall thinke requisite, whiche if I doe not performe to 
the uttermoste, then esteme my love in deede to be but feined, 
and where you thinke that I goe aboute to seeke the prejudice 
or hurte of your soule, beleeve me I never ment it. 

Mistres Doritie, who had beene well acquainted before with 
many suiters, had never been apposed with such a rough hewen 
fellowe, that was so blunt and plaine, aswell in his gesture as 
in his tearmes, beganne to thinke with herself that he might 
well bee a Souldiour, for she knewe that thei had little skill in 
the courting of gentlewomen ; yet she perceived by his counte- 
naunce the vehemencie of the love he bare unto her, and per- 
ceivyng his plaiuesse, she beganne to thynke hym more fitter 


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for her diet then either Maister Doctor, or Maister Lawyer, 
that could not be contented the one with the other, when she 
gave tbenoL bothe so muche as thei could crave : and therefore 
thinkyng with herself that to loose any longer tyme were but 
a poinct of foUie, takyng the Souldiour by the hande, she ledde 
hym up into a chamber, where other speeches were passed be* 
tweene them in secrete, whiche I could never yet understande. 
And what thei did &rther, when thei were by themselves, 
gentlewomen, I praie gesse you, but this I must advertise you 
pf, that before thei came foorth of the chamber againe, the 
Souldiour had pleased Mistres Doritie so wel, that both Maister 
Doctor and Maister Lawyer were put quite out of conceipt ; so 
that from that tyme forwards, when thei came of their visita- 
tion, the gentlewoman was not well at ease, or she had com- 
panie with her, or she was not at home, that thei could no 
more speake with her, which toumed them both into a wonderr 
fill agonie. The Doctor had thought she had forsaken hym 
for the love of the Lawyer : the Lawyer he thought asmuche 
by the Doctor ; that, in the ende, not knowing otherwise how 
to spitte out their venime against her, they devised eache of 
them a letter, whiche thei sent her. 

The first of these letters delivered unto her came from the 
Doctor, whiche letter he left unpointed of purpose, because 
that in the readyng of it it might bee poincted two waies, and 
made to seeme either to her praise or dispraise ; but Mistres . 
Doritie herself, in the readyng of it, poincted it SjS I have set 
it doune, and foUoweth in this sorte : 

And who would have thought, Mistres Doritie, that for the 
lovyng advertisementes given you by your frende, you could 
so lightly have shaken hym of, if I burdened you with any 
thyng that might seeme greevous unto you, thinke it was love 
that ledde me unto it, for that I protest inwardly in my mynde 
I never did esteeme you otherwise then for as honest a gentle- 
woman as lives this daie in Bridewell, I have heard s^rie somQ 


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have been scourged more upon evill will, then for any desertes 
whereof thei might justly be accused, so if it be my happe to 
QuSdT undesenred penaunce, I must impute it to my owne mis- 
fortune, but yet contrarie to my expectation, consideryng how 
I have ever taken you to be giyen in your conditions to prao* 
tise unseemely, filthie, and detestable thynges : I, knowe you 
have ever abhorred to live chastly, decently, and orderly : you 
have ever been trained up to be wanton, proude, and inconti- 
nent : you never tooke delight in that was good, honest, or 
commendable : you wholie gave yourself to leudenesse, luste, 
andlecherie: you were an open enemie to vertue, a frende to 
vice. What should I sale I I doe but waste the tyme in the 
settyng of you forth, and therefore will leave you like as I 
founde you, i, 

. This letter brought Mistres Doritie into suche a fhrie, when 
she had perused it, thet she sware, by no beggers, she would be 
so revenged upon the Doctor,/xhat she would make hym a spec- 
tacle to all the phisitions in the worlde, how they should abuse 
an honest gentlewoman while thei lived. /And in the middest 
of her melancholie, her dearest freende the Souldiour happened 
to come in, whom she made partaker of all her secretes, 
shewyng him the letter whiche Maister Doctor had sent her ; 
and as thei were devisyng how to use revengemente, a mes- 
senger was knocking at the doore, to deliver a letter fix>m the 
Lawyer, the tenure whereof followeth in this maner. 

Maie this bee the rewarde of my true and &ithfoll love 
whiche so firmely I have borne thee ! or is this the delight of 
thy dalliaunce, whiche so many tymes thou haste used with 
me i So careleslie to shake me of, as though I had committed 
some notable abuse, when in deede I have loved thee a greste 
deale more then I perceive thou art worthie of. Oh, feminine 
flatterie ! 0, fained faunyng ! 0, counterfet courtesie ; O, depe 
dissimulation ! But what hope is otherwise to b^ looked for 


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in these kites of Oiessides kinde! or what constancie maie 
any man thinke to finde in a woman i No, no ; if a man maie 
generally speake of their sexe, you shall never finde them but 
counterfect in their courtesie, fained in their frendahip, dis- 
sembling in their deedes, and in all their actions moste daun« 
gerons for men to deale withall : for if she have a &ire &ce, it 
is ever matched with a cmell harte ; their heavenly lookes 
with hellishe thoughtes ; their modest countenaunces with 
mereilesse mindes ; thei have witte, but it is in wiles ; if thei 
love, it is too vehement ; when thei hate, it is to the death. 
But, good GK)d ! with how many fopperies are thei accustomed 
to feede fooWI 1 meane suche as bee lovemakers and [suiters 
unto theim, whom thei delaie with as many devises as thei be 
in number that seekes to serve them. Some thei lure with 
lookes ; some thei practise with promises'; some thei feede with 
flattery ; some thei delaie with daliance ; some thei winde in 
with wiles; some thei keepe with kisses; some they diet 
with dissimulation. One must weare her glove, an other must 
weare her garter ; another laust weare her coulers ; another 
shall weare the spoile of as muche as she can gette from ail 
the reste by cousonage : and yet to see how daintie these dar- 
lynges wil seeme to those that be not acquainted with their 
customes were able to dash a young man out of countenaunce. 
I warrant you, thei can make it more nice then wise ; more 
coie then comely ; more fine then honest. And to whom doe 
thei make the matter most daungerous, but to them that de- 
serveth best to be rewarded i For where thei see a man that 
is drouned in affection towardes them, over hym thei will 
triumph, and can tell how to ride the foole without a snaffle : 
one while thei will crosse hym with iroward language, then 
againe comfort hym with some fiuned looke. Now she drives 
hym into desperation with firounyng face; by and by she 
baites hym againe with banquettes of uncertaine hope : suche 
is their evill nature, (as I sale) that thei wiU shewe themselves 
moste squemishe and daintie to hym that loves them moste 


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entirely, and hym that seekes them least dishonestly, hym thei 
rewarde with their coldest courtesie. For better proofe, lette 
a man seeke to winne one of these tender peeces that goes for 
a maide, honestly, and in the waie of manage, and I ¥rar- 
rant you she will make the matter more coye and nice to 
hym that meanes good earnest, then to an other that comes 
but to trie and prove them. And what signes of shame&st- 
nesse will thei seeme to make, when a man doeth but touch 
them, &inyng themselves to be too young, when, indeede, if 
thei once past the age of fifteen yeres, (if thei were not afeard of 
breedyng of bugges in their beallie) by their good willes they 
would never be without the companie of a man. Thus to con- 
clude, their nature is openly to scome all men, bee their loves 
never so honest, and secretly to refuse no manne, be his* luste 
never so leude. Full aptly did Salomon in his Proverbes com- 
pare you to wine, that can make us so dronken with your de- 
vises, that notwithstandyng we see the snares with our eyes, 
whiche you have sette to entangle us, wee can not shunne the 
baito whiche wee knowe will breede our bane. Thus muche, 
Mistres Doritie, I have thought good to signifie unto you, 
whose discourtisie at this tyme hath caused me so generally to 
envaie against your whole sexe, not otherwise mindyng to ac- 
cuse yourself perticularly, knowing that if you should other- 
wise have used me then you have, you should have degressed 
and swarved quite from your kinde, and so I leave yon. 

Gentlewomen, I beseche you, forgive me my fiskult, in the pub- 
lishyng this in&mous letter : I promise you, I doe but signifie 
it accordyng to the copie whiche this unhappie Lawyer sent to 
Mistres Doritie ; and. when I had well considered the blas- 
phemie that he had used against your sexe, I cutte my penne . 
all to peeces wherewith I did copie it out, and if it had not 
been for the hurtyng of myself, I promise you, I would have 
cutte and mangled my owne fingers, wherewith I held the penne 
while I was writyug of it : and trust me, accordyng to my 


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fikill, I could well have founde in my harte to have encountred 
hym with an aunswere in your defence, but then I was inter- 
rupted by an other, as you shall well perceive. For the Soul- 
dioor, whiche you have heard spoken of, that was remainyng 
with Mistres Doritie, when he had perused this letter, was put 
into a wonderfull chafe, and in the middest of his furie he 
uttered these wordes. 

Ah, moste vile and blasphemous beast ! what art thou, that 

with sucbe exclamations goest about to de&me those whom by 

all honest humanitie and manhood we bee willed specially to 

love, honour, and reyerence ! what art thou ? a man, a deyill, 

or a Bubtill Lawyer ! Yea, surelie, and so thou maiest well 

bee ; and herein haste thou shewed thyself no whit at al to 

duresse from thy profession ; for as at the firste the lawes 

were constituted to minister justice, and to give every one his 

right, so now are thei made, by the practise of a nomber of 

pettie foggers, the instrumentes of all iniquitie and wrong. 

"iBven so^that worthie sexe, whiche at the firste were/given 

unto man /by the Almightie God himself, /(o be his cheefesi 

comforte and consolation, j see here the practise of a wicked 

caitife, who with his eloquence would perswade us that thei 

were our greatest mine and desolations. / Ah, wicked wretche 

that thou art ! how thinkest thou to escape thus, to blowe forth 

thy blasphemie against those blessed ones whom God hath per- 

fited above all other creatures ! .. For at their firste creation 

thei were made of the moste beste and purified mettall of mane, 

where man hymself was framed but of slime and drosse. What 

reason, then, that, beyng at the first framed moste pure and 

peifecte creatures, but that thei should continue their firste 

perfection to the ende of the worlde ! And like as at the first 

. thei were made more excellent then man, where should wee 

now seeke for grace, vertue, and goodnesse, but onely in the 

feminine sexe, accordyng to their singuler creation. 

I trust this is so evident, that there is no man able to denaie 
it, and enough to prove, that as women at the firste were ere- 


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ated moirte perfecte, so they have still remained the storehoose 
of all grace, vertue, and goodnesse ; and that if there be any- 
thing founde in us men that is worthie of commendation, we 
are onely to give thankes to women, from whom wee receive it, 
as bejng descended fi*om out their entn^les. But with how 
greate and manifolde miseries should wee men bee daily 
afflicted, were it not for the comfbrte wee finde at womens 
handes i for, besides that by their industrie we be notified, 
made more clendly, and kept swete, who otherwise of our 
selves we should become to bee moste fiithie and lothsome crea- 
tures, so at all tymes and seasons thei bee so neceesarie and 
convenient aboute us, that it were impossible for us to bee with- 
out their blessed companies. First, in our health thei content 
us with their &miliaritie ; in our sicknesse thei cherish us ; in 
our mirth thei make it more abounde ; in sorrowe their com- 
panie doeth beguile our pensive thoughtes ; in pleasure thei bee 
our cheefe delightes ; in paine their presence bredeth comfort 
to our grief; in wealth what greater treasure then to enjoye 
our beloved ; in want what greater wealth then a lovyng and 
faithftdl wife ; in peace we labour still to get their likyng ; in 
warres thei make us shewe ourselves more valiaunt. But how 
is it possible that women should behave themselves, but that 
there are some wil finde feught with them ! first, if she be 
fiimiliare, we judge her to be light ; if she seeme anything 
straunge in her conversation. Ah ! we saie, she is adaungerous 
dame ; if merrie, wee thinke her to be naught ; if sad, we saie 
she is more grave then honest ; if she bee talkative, we saie 
she is a tatlyng houswife ; if silent, we saie she is a sheepe; if 
dendly in her apparell, we saie she is proude ; if plaine, or 
homely, we saie she is a doudie, or a slut ; if thei denaie us 
their ourtesie when we sue unto them, wee saie thei be cruell 
tygers, beares, and bugges ; if thei have compassion of us, we 
discredit them amongst our companions. 

But see here the cunnyng of a caitife, that would wreste 
the wordes of Salomon to the dispraise of women, because in his 


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Provaxbes be compareth'them to wine. Bat, to interprete the 
words of Salomon by Salomon himself, in an other place of 
the same Proverbes, he willeth wine should bee given to com- 
Ibrte those that bee feeble and weake : now, compare these 
plaees together, and see what harme he hath doen to women ; 
and in my opinion he could not more aptly have made a com- 
parifion, for as wine is a comforte to those that are feeble and 
weake, so are women our greatest solace both in sicknesse and 
in health : but if any wil saie that wine maketh us dronken, 
and fit>m reasonable men to become more brute then beastes, I 
annswere, that the faught is not to be imputed to the wine, 
but to the beastlinesse of him that taketh more then enough ; 
for there is nothyng so precious for our behoofes, but by our 
own abuse we make it seeme most yile andlothsome : and thus 
graonting Maister Lawyer his comparison to be true, he hath 
doen little hurt, savying he hath shewed hymself a diligent 
Bcholler to his maister the deyill, who is &ther of all lyes, 
in maintainyng so manifest a lye against suche harmlesse 

There were many other speeches pronounced by this soul- 
dionr in behaulf of women, whiche I have forgot to recite ; 
bat I pray, gentlewomen, how like you by this souldiour! 
doe you not thynke hym worthie a sargantes fee for his aun- 
swere! In my opinion you ought to love souldiours the 
better for his sake. 

Sut to retoume to Mistres Doritie. Those two letters had so 
▼exed her, that there was nothing in her minde but how she 
might be revenged. Her freende the souldiour promised for 
her sake, that he would ao cudgill bothe Maister Doctor and 
the Lawier, that thei should not, in one moneth after, be able 
to lift their armes to their beds, savyng he wist not how to 
get them into a place convenient, for y^ it was dangerous to 
deale with them in the open streates : Mistres Doritie, givyng 
hym twentie kisses for his courtesie, tolde him she would de- 
vise to bryng them into some place where he might worke 
his will. 


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Presently after Mistres Doritie sent for Maister Doctor, 
whom she knewe very well how to handle, and in a milde 
maner she began greatly to blame hym, that beyng wise, aa 
she knewe hym to be, would so rashly judge of her ; for that 
he might well know that there was some greate cause that 
itioved her to use hym as she had doen, otherwise then he 
had conjectured : and thus with many other like speeches, 
she so smothed the matter with Maister Doctor, that she 
made hym beleeve her housbande had some suspition in their 
&miliaritie, and that by his commaundement she had ab* 
stained his companie for a tyme : the which, Maister Doctor, 
(q^ she) I did for no evill will that I beare you, but for a tymef 
to bleare my housbandes eyes, thinkyng in the ende so to 
have handled the matter, that we might have continued oui: 
accustomed freendship without any maner of suspition ; and 
then drawyng forthe the letter whiche the Doctor had sent 
her (she said). But see, Maister Doctor, your good opinion 
conceived in me : loe ! here the reward that I have for my 
courtesie bestowed of you, thus to raile and rage against nie, 
as though I were the moste notable strumpet in a countrey. 

The Doctour, knowyng in what forme he had wright the 
letter, and desirous againe to renue his late acquaintaunce, 
aimswered, that he never writte letter unto her, whereby he 
had given any occasion for her to take any greef. No have f 
(q^ Mistres Doritie) read you then heare your owne lines ; 
takyng hym the letter, which the Doctor, as I told you before, 
had lefte unpointed, and therefore in the readyng he pointed 
it after this maner : — 

And who would have thought (A^istres Doritie) that for 
the lovyng advertisementes given you by your &eende, you 
could so lightly have shaken hym of? If I burdened you 
with any thing that might seme greevous unto you, thinke it 
was love that ledde me unto it, for that I protest inwardlie in 
my minde, I did never esteeme you otherwise then for as 
honest a gentlewoman as lives this daie. In Bridwell, I have 


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heard s^e, some have been scourged more upon evill will, then 
fer any desertes whereof thei might justly be accused ; so if it 
be my hap to suffer undeserved penaunce, I muste impute it 
to mine owne misfortune, but yet contrarie to my expectation, 
oonsideryng how I have ever taken you to be given in your 
oonditions. To practise unseemly, filthie, and detestable 
thinges, I knowe you have ever abhorred; to live chastlie, 
decently, and ordeijy, you have ever bin trained up ; to be 
wanton, proude, and incontinent, you never tooke delight ; in 
that was good, honest, or commendable, you wholie gave your- 
flielf ; to leudnesse, luste, and lecherie, you were an open ene- 
mie ; to vertue a freende ; to vice — ^what should I saie ! I 
dooe bat waste the tyme in the settyng of you foorthe, and 
therefore will leave you like as I founde you. 

I praie you, Mistres Doritie (q^ the Doctor) where is this 
railyng and ragyng you speake of? I truste, I have written 
nothing that might discontent you. Mistres Doritie, per- 
ceivyng the knaverie of the Doctour, and seeyng the matteiv 
fell out BO fitte for her purpose, first givyng him a freendly 
busse, she said, ^' Alas ! my deare freend, I confesse I have 
trespassed in misconsteryng of your lines ; but forgive me, I 
praie you, and now have compassion of her, whose love to- 
warde you is suche, that it is impossible for me to live without 
your good likyng ; and seyng that my housebandes jelousie is 
80 muche, that yon can have no longer accesse to my house 
but it must needes come to his eare by suche spie and watche 
as he hath laied, neither my self can goe abroade to any place, 
but I am dogged and followed by suche as he hath appointed ; 
but now if your love bee but halfe so muche towardes me as I 
trust I have deserved, and hereafter doe meane to requite, I 
have alreadie devised a meane how for ever I might enjoye 
my desired fireend, without either lette or molestation of any 
one, seeme he never so muche to be offended at the matter. 

The Doctor, the gladdest man in the worlde to heare these 
newes, aunswered. And what is it, then, that should make you 



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stagger, or doubt of the frendahip of yonr lovyng Doctor ! 
no, not if thereby I shoold hazard the loase both of life and 

Alas ! (% Mistres Doritie) Gt>d defende I should worke jon 
so greate a prejudice ; and I beseeche you use no more sache 
speeches unto me, that I should goe about to put yoa into 
any suche perill, the remembraunce whereof is more greevous 
unto me, then if I had felte the force of a tl^onsande deathes : 
and now behold my determination, and what I have deyised. 
You have a house not hire hence, standyng in the feeldes, 
whiche you keepe for your solace and recreation in the tyme 
of sommer : to this house I have devised how you maie so 
secretly oonveigh me, that you maie there keepe me at your 
pleasure to your owne use, and to my greate contentation, 
where I male at pleasure enjoye hym, more dearely beloved 
unto me then the baales of myne owne eyes. — And here 
withall she fi;ave him other Judas^ kisse, that the Doctor 
desired her of all freendship not to bee long in her deter* 
mination, for that he was readie to foUowe her direction when- 
soever it would please her to commaunde ; yea, if it were pre- 
sently, he was readie. 

Mistres Doritie, who had driven the matter to that passe 
she looked for, saied : Naie, Maister Doctour, there resteth 
yet an other thyng : my housebandes jelousie (as I tolde you) 
is suche, that there muste bee greate circumspection used in 
the conveighyng me awaie, and therefore give eare to that I 
have devised. I have in my house a certaine male with 
stuffe, that is left with me to bee sent by the carriers into the 
countrie, whereof my housbande doeth knowe verie well : this 
stuffe I will cause to bee secretly taken forthe, and to bee sent 
to the carrier'*s trust up in some other thing, without any 
knowledge to any, savyng to my maide, that shall woorke this 
feate herself, whose trustinesse I knowe to bee suche, as there 
is no suspition to be had in the matter : the whiche, when she 
hath doen, she shall trusse up me in the same male ; then, see 


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that yoQ fiule not, to morowe in the evenyng, about eight of the 
docke, disgoiBod in a porter^a weede, to come to my house to 
enquire for the same male, whiehe yon shall saie you wiU 
beare to the carrier^s. My maide, who shall of purpose bee 
readie to waite for yo.ur commyng at the houre, shall mdce no 
bones to deliver you this male ; and thus, without either 
doubte or jealonsie of any one, you maie carrie me into the 
feeldes, where for your better ease you maie take me forthe, 
snd disguisyng ourselves wee maie walke together to your 
house aforesaied, where I maie remaine, without any manor 
of suspition or knowledge to any, so long as it shall please 

0, moste excellent devise ! (q> the Doctor). I have this 
matter alreadie at my fingers endes, and I warrant you, you 
shall see me plaie the porter so cunnynglie, that how many 
BO ever I meete, there shall none of tliem be able to suspect 
me. Thus, with a fained kisse that she againe bestowed of 
hym, for that tyme thei departed. 

Mistres Doritie in like manor sent for the Lawyer, whom 
she handeled in like sorte as she had doen the Doctor, 
makyng hym beleeve that her housebandes jealonsie was 
suche, as she durst no more come in his companie ; but of her- 
self she loved him so entirely, that she would hazard any 
thyng for his sake : and because he should the better beleeve 
it, to morrowe (% she) in the aftemoone, my housebande will 
be forthe of the dores, wherefore I praie you &ile not aboute 
three of the clocke to come and visite me, when we shall have 
leisure to dbporte ourselves to our better contentation. Many 
like enticync; wordes she used, whiehe so perswaded the 
Lawier, then dreadyng no badde measure at all, he promised 
her not to faile, but he would keepe his hower 5 and thus de- 
parted, verie joyftdl that he had againe recovered his mistres. 
And the nexte daie, even as it had stroke three of the clocke, 
he was knockyng at the doore of this gentlewoman, who, look- 
yng for his commyng, was readie to receive him, and up thei 



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goe together to a chamber, whiche she had appointed fer the 
parpose, where for a tyme she dalied hym of with deyioes, 
and sodainly her maide (accordjng as her mistres had giyen 
her instructions) came hastely to the chamber doore, callyng 
her mistres, saiyng that her maister was come in, and had 
asked for her. 

Mistres Doritie, who was not to leame to plaie her parte, 
1/ seemed to be striken into a wonderful feare. Alas ! ((^ she to 
the Lawier) for the love of €rod keepe yourself secret for a 
tyme, that I maie goe doune and ridde hym awaie, if it be 
possible: and thus goyng her waie doune, she shuttes the 
doore after her. 

The Lawier, who was readie to bewraie hym self for feare, 
crepte under the bedde, where she lette hym alone the space 
of an hower ; and then commyng up into the chamber, and 
could not see hym, she beganne to muse what was become of 
hym. He, hearyng one was come in at the chamber doore, 
beganne to prie out under the beddes feete, and perceiyyng by 
the skirt of her goune who it was, with a &int voice he said, 
Alas ! my deare, what newes ? is your housebande gone ! 

Ah, my lovyng freende ! {<^ she) I was never so hardlie 
beset sith I was borne : my housebande is come home with 
three or fewer of his frendes whiche he mette withall in the 
citie, and bee come out of the countrey of purpose to make 
merrie with hym, and here thei bee appoincted this night to 
suppe, and hether bee come to their beddes so long as thei 
remaine in the citie, and this chamber is appointed for twoo of 
them to lye in, that for my life I knowe not what shifte to 
make, nor how to conveigh you hence. 

Alas ! (q^ the Lawier) then am I utterly undooen : for the 
love of Qod devise some meanes to conveigh roe out of the 
house, for I would not remaine all night in this perplexitie, 
no, not for all the golde in the worlde. 

Mistres Doritie, makyng a little pause, sodainlie, as though 
she had an invention but even then come into her hedde, she 


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said, I have this onely remedie left : here is in the house a 
male full of stuffe, whiche should this night be sent to the 
carriers ; my devise is therefore to take forthe the stuffe, and 
laie it aside till somtyme the next weake, when I will make 
shift to sende the stuffe awaie verie well, and you shall be 
presently packed up in this male, whiche my maide shall doe 
while I am below with my housebande and his freendes, and 
so causyng a porter to be sent for, he shall carrie you to your 
chamber, or to any other place where it shall please yourself, 
so that my husebande seeyng this male got forthe of doores, 
will thinke it is the stuffe whiche he knoweth this night 
should be sent. 

Ho better devise in the worlde (% the Lawier) and let the 
porter oonveigh this male to my chamber, you knowe where, 
and deliver it to my manne, as sent from his maister, and will 
hym to give hym fourtie pence for his labour. 

The matter thus determined, Mistres Doritie sent up her 
miude with this emptie male, wherein she trussed up the 
Lawier, and there she left hyin, liyng from five of the clocke 
nntill it was past eight, and in the sommer season. The 
weather beyng verie hotte, the Lawier had like to have been 
smothered, where he laye at the length. Accordyng to poinct- 
mente comes Maister Doctour, disguised like a right porter, 
with a longe gaberdine doune to the calfe of his legges, and 
he enquires for a male that should goe to the carriers. Yea, 
Marie (% the maide), if you please to come in, it is ready for 
you. The Doctor, beeyng a good sturdie lubber, tooke up the 
male verie easily, for feare of brusyng the gentlewoman's 
tender ribbes, whom he* had thought he had upon his backe, 
and thus forthe of dores he goes, takyng the next waie to*- 
wardes his lodgyng. 

Mistres Doritie, with her beloved soldiour (whom she had 
made privie to her devise), stoode where she might see Mais- 
ter Doctor, in his porter's weede, goyng with his carriage ; 
whereat, when thei had a while sported themselves, the soul- 


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dionr folawed Maister Doctor an eaeie pase, bat onely to kepe 
the sight of hym ; and the Doctour he tooke his waie through 
the streetes with a maine pase, till he had recovered the 
feeldes, where lookyng aboute hym, to see what eompanie was 
Btirryng, sawe no bodie neare hym but the souldionr, whom 
he did not knowe, and then crossyng the waie from the com- 
mon pathes, he came to the side of a baacke, and beyng weari« 
(as he was not to be blamed, eonsideryng the knavishe bar- 
then that he had borne uppon his backe), he, laiyng doune the 
male tenderlie nppon the side of the bancke, seeying nobodie 
bat the sooldioor, who was bat a little distance from hym» 
saied, Ah ! my sweete wenche, I can see no creatore stirryng 
in al the feeldes but one manne, which is commyng this waie^ 
i^ho so scone as he is paste, I will undoe the male. 

The Lawier in the male, when he felt the porter lay hym 
doune, was in a good hope that he had been in his owne cham- 
ber, but hearyng by these speeches that he was in the feeldes, 
began to conjecture assuredly that the porter had spoken those 
wordes to some woman that was in his companie, with whom 
he was confederate, for the stealyns: of suche thinges as tfa^ 
should finde in the male, and that when thei should open the 
male, and finde hym there, thei would not sticke to cut hia 
throte, for feare least he should bewraie them, and for the 
onely spoile of suche thyngos as he had about hym, that the 
Lawier was in suche a perplexitie that he wiste not for hia 
life what he might doe : one while be had thought to have 
cried out for helpe ; then he thought it would the soner bryng 
hym to his ende ; and as he continued thus in the mtddest of 
his muse the souldiour was eome to tfie* pla^, and speakysg 
to the Doctor he saied : Porter, it seemeth thou haste been 
knavishly loden, for I perceive thou art very hot ; but what 
^hast thou in thy male, I praie thee, that thou art carriyng 
this waie so late in the evenyng! Marie ((]^ the Doctor) I 
have ware there, suche as it is. Hast thou ware, knave ! (q^ the 
Souldiour) is that a sufficiente aunswere! What ware is 


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it ! mennes ware, or women^s ware ! Sir, I knoe not {(^ the 
porter), I have but the carriyng of it to a geiitleman''s house 
that is here hard by. Well (% the Souldiour), undoe your 
trusse, for I will see what wares you hare there before you 
and I depart. Why, sir {(^ the porter), should I be so bolde 
to undoe a gentleman's male, that is delivered me in trust to 
be catied! No, sir, you shall pardon me, if you were my 
&ther. And herewithall he tooke the male upon his backe, 
and beganne to goe his waies ; but the Souldiour, knowyng 
better what was in the male then the porter hymself that 
carried it, and beeyng provided for the purpose with a good 
cudgell, let drive halfe a dozen bloes at the male, as it laie 
upon his backe, so surely, that the Lawier cries out, Alas ! 
ahis ! alas ! — Why,'porter (q^ the Souldiour), have you quicke 
wares in yoUr male : no mervaile, you were so dajntie in the 
shewyng of it. 

Here withall the Doctor laied doune his male, and kneelyng 
doune to the Souldiour, said. Ah, sir ! for the love of God bee 
content, and I will not let to confesse the whole truthe unto 
you. I have a gentlewoman in my male, whiche I have stolne 
from her housebande, and seyng you to be a gentleman, but 
yong in yeres, and impossible but that you should love the 
companie of a fiure woman, beholde I will deliver her unto^ 
you to use at your pleasure, and when you shall see tyme to 
restore her unto me againe, desiryng you, sir, of all courtesie, 
to seeke no other displeasure against us. You have saied 
well (k^ the Souldiour) ; but is she suche a one as is to bee 
liked, faire, fireshe, and yong t Trust me, sir (q^ the Doctor), 
if she bee not as faire and well likyng as any dame within 
the walles of this citie, make me an example to all other how 
thei shall dissemble with a gentleman suche as you are. Thou 
saiest well (% the Souldiour), and now I thinke long till I 
haye a sight of this paragon, whiche thou haste so praised 
onto me. You shall see her straight, sir (q^ the Doctor) : and 
here withall he began to unlase the male with great expe^ 


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diiion ; whiche, when he had unloaed at the one ende, that be 
might come to the sight of this genilewoman^s Ace (as he had 
thought), he saied to the Soldiour, See here the sight whiche 
yon so mnche desire ! and puUyng the ende of the male open 
with his handes, the Lawier throste fortbe hb hedde, and 
^y looked with suche a piteous conntenannce, as though he had 
been readie to bee toumed of the ladder ; but the Doctor, 
seyng a face to appeare with a long beard, was in suche a 
maze, that he could not tell in the worlde what he might saie. 
The Souldiour, who had nerer more adoe then to forbeare 
laughter, to see how these twoo, the one beheld the other, 
saied to the Doctor : And is this the &ire gentlewoman whiche 
thou hast promised me ! Haste thou no bodie to modie but 
me, that with suche commendations thou giyest praise to a 
woman, wl^ereby to set my teeth an edge, and then in the 
ende thus to delude me! But I will teache thee how to plaie 
the knave againe while thou liyeste. And here withall he layed 
on with his cudgell, sparyng neither hedde, shoulders, armes, 
backe, nor breast ; and so he bumbasted the Doctor, that for 
the space of a quarter of a yere after, he was not able to lift 
an urinall so hye as his hedde. 

The Lawier, who had nothyng out of the male but his 
hedde, seeyng this fraie, struggeled so muche as he could to 
have gotte forthe, and to have runne awaie, while the porter 
was a beatyng ; but it would not bee, his armes were so surely 
laced doune by his sides, that for his life he could not gette 
them forthe. 

The Souldiour, when he had throughly requited Maister 
Doctour''s knaverie that he had used against his beloved mu»- 
tres in his letter, left hjrm, and beganne to bende hymself to- 
wardes the Lawier. The Lawier, seyng the Souldiour com- 
myng, had thought verely that he had been some good fellowe 
that was walkyng there so late, to have taken some prey, said: 
O sir ! for the love of Qod spare my life, and take my purse : to 
whom the Souldiour aunswered : Naie, villaine, my commyng 


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18 neither to take thy life uor thy parse, bat to xninister re- 
▼engemente for thy lai^ speeches, whiche, like a discoorteoos 
wretche, thoa haste ased against a woman : and there with all 
laied upon hym so long as he was able to fetch any breath, 
and then callyng the porter onto hym, he saied : Let these 
wordes whiche T minde to speake saffice for a wamyng to yoa 
bothe : if ever I maie leame that any of yoo, hereafter this, do 
use any misdemeannre towardes any woman, either by word 
or writyng, assure your selves, that although I have but dallied 
with you at this tyme, I wil devise some one meane or other 
to minister revenge, that all suche as you bee shall take an ex- 
ample by you. And thus I leave you ; goyng his waie to his 
sweete harte, tellyng her the whole discourse how he had 
spedde, by whom he was welcomed with a whole laste of 
kisses, &c. 

And now to retoume to those twoo that were lefte in the 
feeldes, as you have heard. The Doctor, takyng good vewe of 
the Lawyer, knewe hym verie well, but the Doctor was so dis- 
guised in his porter^s apparrell, that the Lawyer did not knowe 
hym, but saied unto hym : A mischeef light of all suche porters, 
that when thei be put in truste with carriages into the citie, 
will bryng them into the feeldes to such banquettes as these ! 
Marie, (% the Doctor) a mischeef take all suche burthens, that 
when a manne hath almoste broken his backe with bearyng 
them, and then shall receive such a recompence for his labour 
as I have doen ! Villdne ! (% the Lawyer) why diddest thou 
not beare me to my chamber, as thou wert willed when thou 
diddest receive me ! I would I had carried thee to the gallowes 
(% the Doctor) so I had escaped this scouryng; but I perceive 
this banquette was prepared for us bothe. And here withall 
with much adoe he got of the porter^s coate, and making him- 
self knowne to the Lawyer, cache of them conferred with the 
other, how cunnyngly thei had been dealt withall, and did ' 
thinke it not bests for them any &rther to deale in the matter, 
for feave of fitrther mischeef; but with much adoe got them 


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lionio, where the Lawier kept his bedde very long after. But 
the Doetor tboke sparmaceti, and Buche like thynges that 
bee good for a bnue, and recovered hymself in a shorte 

Now, it fbll out afterwardes, that this Sonldiour, who lived 
in greate orediie with Mistrea Doritie, (as he had well de- 
served) was itnployed in the kynges warres. against forraine 

^ fooes, with a greate number of others, where he spent his life 
in his princes quarrell ; and Mistres Doritie, sorrowing a long 
tjme the losse of so faithfuU a freende, seeyng the diversitie 
of men, that i^e had made her choise emongat three, and had 
found b«t one honest, feared to &1I into any further infamie, 
contented herself to live orderly and &ithfdlly with her hoos- 

. band al the rest of her life : and her housebande, who never 
understoode any of these actions, loved her dearely to his 
diyng daie. 

And now to saie somethyng of the other brother and his 
wife, whiche as you have heard was suche a notskble scold, that 
her housebonde could never enjoy good daie, nor merie houre. 
She was suche a devill of her tongue, and would so crossebite 
hym with suche tauntes and spightfuU quippes, as if at any 
tyme be had been merrie in her companie, she would tell hym 
his mirthe proceaded rather in the remembraunce of that she 
had brought hym, then fof any love that he had to herself. If 
he were sadde, it was for greef she was not dedde, that he might 
enjoye that she had. If he used to goe abroad, then he had 
been spending of that he never gotte himself. If he taried at 
home, she would saie it was happie he had gotten suche a wife, 
that was able to keepe hym so idelly. If he made any pro- 
vision for good cheare, or to fare well in his house, she would 
bid hym spende that whiche he hymself had brought. If he 
shewed hymself to bee sparyng, then she would not pinche of 
that whiche was her owne. Thus, doe what he could, all that 
aver he did was taken in the worste parte ; and seyng that by 
no maner of iaire meanes he was able to reclaime her, in the 


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end6 he densed this waie : h jmself, with a trnstie freend that he 
made of his oouasaill, gotte and pinioned her armes so fiiste, 
that she was not able to nndoe them, and then pnttyng h^ 
into an old peticoate, which he rent and tattered in peeces of 
puTpoee, and shakjng her heire loose about her eyes, tare her , 
smocke sleeves, that her armes were all beare, and s<»iitohing 
ihem all over with a bramble, that the blond followed, with a 
greatechune about her legge, wherewith he tied her in a darke 
house that was on his backside, and then callyng his neibours 
about her, he would seeme with greate sorrowe to lament his 
wives distresse, telling them that she was sodainly become 
lunatique ; whereas, by his geasture, he tooke so greate greefe, 
as though he would likewise have runne madde for companie. 
But his wife (as he had attired her) seemed in deede not to be 
well in her wittes ; but, seeyng her housebandes manors, shewed 
her self in her conditions to bee a right Bedlem : she used no 
other wourdes but cursynges and banninges, criyng for the 
plague and the pestilence, and that the devill would teare her 
housb^de in peeces. The companie that were about her, thei 
would exhorte her, Good neighbour, forget these idle speeches, 
which doeth so muche distemper you, and call upon God, and 
he will surely helpo you. — Call upon God for help ? (q^ the other) 
wherein should he helpe me, unlesse he would consume this 
wretche with fire and brimstone ! other helpe I have no need 
of. Her housebande, he desired his neighbours, for Gk)d^s love, 
that thei would helpe him to praie for her ; and thus, altogether 
kneeling doune in her presence, he beganne to saie. Miserere, 
whiche all theie saied after him ; but this did so spight and 
vexe her, that she never gave over her railyng and ragyng 
againste them all. But in the ende, her houseband, who by 
this shame had thought to have reclaimed her, made her to be- 
come from evil to worse, and was glad hymself, in the ende, 
cleane to leave, and to get hymself from her into a straunge 
conntrey, where he consumed the rest of his life. 


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Thus to conclade, besides the matter that I meane to prove^ 
menne maie gather example here, when thej goe a wiTyng, 
not to chose for beautie without vertue, nor for riches without 
good conditions. There be other examples, if thei be well 
marked, worth the learning, both for men and women, whiche 
I leave to the discretion of the read^. 


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Gonsales^ prekndyng to poison his terteous mfefor the lote of a 
caufieaam^ cra/oed the helpe of Alonso, a scholer^ aomethynff 
practisod in phieieke, who^ in the steade of poyaon^ gone hym 
apouder^ whiehe did but bryng her in a aounde sleepe duryng 
certaine howers ; but GoMoksJudgynff (in deede) that hie wife 
had been dedde^ caused her immediately to be buried. The 
acholer dgaine^ knowyng the operation of hispoulder^ for the 
greaie love he bare to Ayatha^ went to the vault where she wcu 
entombed^ abouit the hower that he knewe she should awake; 
ftheny after some speeches used betweene iheim^ he carried her 
home to his owne house^ where she remained for a tpace. In 
the meane tyme^ Gonsaies^ beeyng married to his courtisane^ was 
by her abused to the Gwernowrfor ths poisoning of his first 
wife ; whereof being apprehend^ he confessed thefacte^ omd was 
therefore judged to dye^ whiche beyng knowne to Agatha^ she 
' came to the Judge, and clearyng her hotubande of the crime^ 
thei lived together in perfect peace and amitie. 

There was a omety me in the oitie of Siville, in Spaine, a 
gentilman named GonsfUes, who, thoagh he were a man of 
yeares sufficient to be staied, and to give over the wanton 
pranckes of yonthfuU foUie, yet was he by nature so enclined 
to foUowe his lustes, and withall do variable and so nnconstant, 
that he suffered hymself to be ruled wholy by his passions, and 
measured all his doynp; rather by his delightes and pleasures 


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then by sounde discourse, and rale of reason. This gentleman, 
fiillyng in love with a gentlewoman of the saied citie, whose 
name was Agatha, sought all the meanes he could to have her 
to wife; and her freendes, although thei were well enough 
enformed of the disposition of Gonsales, wherby thei might 
have feared the entreatie of their kinswoman, for that thei 
knewe him very riche, and her dowrie not to be very greate, 
thei were well content to bestowe her uppon hym, and thought 
that thei had in so dojmg placed her very well. But, before 
the first yere after their marriage was fuUie expired, Gonsales, 
followyng his wonted hnmour, and waxing wearie of love, grewe 
to desire chaunge, givyng thereby a notable example for women 
to leame, how little it is to their commoditie, or quiet, to matehe 
themselves to suche that be rather riche then wise ; and how 
muohe it were better for them to bee married to men then to 
their goodes. 

For, beeyng come to sojourne, in that streate wherein he 
dwelt [lived] a notable courtesane, who to the outward shewe 
was verie fidre, though inwardly she was moste foule, as die that 
under a goodlie personage did cover a wicked and dangerous 
minde, corrupted with all vices, as for the moste part all suche 
women doen. It was Gonsales chaunce to be one of the first 
that fell into those snares, whiche she had sette for suche simple 
men's mindes, as haunte after the exteriour apparance of those 
thynges whiche their senses make them to delight in, and not 
considering the daunger whereunto thei commit themselves, by 
followyng of their disordinate appetites, doe suffer themselves 
to be entrapped by suche leude dames : emong whiche this, 
forsoothe, was one that was of singular skill to captive men^^s 
mindes*, whiche by experience and by the naturall dispoilition 
of her mynde, bent wholie to deceipte and naughtinesse, had 
learned a thousand giles and artes, which waie to allure men 
with the plesauntnesse of her baites. Wherefore, after he was 
once entangled with her snares, he fell so ferre beyond all rea- 
son and past all beleef, to dote upon this strumpet, that he 


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could finde no reste, nor no Gontentment, bat so long as he 
was with her. 

Bat she, beeyng as dissolute a dame as any lived in the 
-world, and as greedie likewise of gaine as ever any was of her 
profession, would not content herself with Gonsales alone, but 
yeelded unto as many as list to enjoye her, if thei came with 
their handes fiill, and spared for no coste to reward her libe- 
rallie. Whiche thyng was unto hym, that was so besotted on 
her, so greevous and so intoUerable, that nothyng could be 

There was at that same tyme a scholer in the citie that 
studied phieicke, with whom Gonsales had £ftmiliar acquaint- 
aunce ; and the SchoUer .thereby havyng accesse and conversa- 
tion in his house, beganne so fervently to be in love with 
Agatha, hia wife, that he desired nothing so earnestly in the 
worlde as to enjoye her, and to vfinne her good will. Where-> 
fore, havyng (as I have said) free accesse to her house, and to 
declare his affection unto her without suspition, he ceased not 
by al the meanes he was able to devise to solUcite and to pro- 
cure her to yeelde unto his desire. With his endevour and 
eameste suite, although it were unto Agatha noysome and dis* 
pleasaunt, as she that was disposed to kepe herself honest, and 
that she could in that respecte have been very glad that he 
would forbeare to frequent her house, yet knowyng her 
housebande to be a man of no verie greate substaunce, and but V^ 
slenderly stuffed in the hedpeece, and that he delighted greatly 
in the &miliaritie of the Scholler, she forced herself to endure 
with pacience the importunate molestation whiche he still 
wearied her withall; takyng from hym, neverthelesse, all 
hope to obtaine at any tyme any &vour at her handes, and 
cuttyng hym shorte from all occasions as muche as she could, 
whereby he might have cause either to molest her, or to looke 
for anything to proceade from her that were lesse then honest. 

The Scholer, perceivyng that his owne travaile to win her 
affection was but labour loste, thought best to trie, if by the 


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allarment or perwasion of any other, he might haply moye her 
to shew herself more courteous and &yoarable unto him. 
Wherefore, having foande out an olde mother Elenonr, a dis- 
ciple of the Spanishe Gelestina, suche a one as was most eon* 
nyng and skilfhll^in moUifiyng of women^'s mindee, to woike 
them afterwarde to receire the impressions of their loyers, he 
caused her to take acquaintaunce of Agatha, and by degrees 
(as though she had been moyed with pittie and compassion of 
her case) to declare unto her the loye which her housband bare 
unto the courtisane, and to showe her how unworthiehe was thai 
she should be true unto hym. And in the end, passyng from 
one speech to an other, she saied plunly unto her, that it was 
a greate foUie, since her housebande did take his pleasures 
abroade with other women, to stande to his allowances, and to 
take the leavyng of his strumpets, and therewith to bee con- 
tent ; and that, if she were in her case, and had ft houseband 
that would strike with the sworde, she would undoubtedly re- 
quite hym, and strike with the scabberde : so she counselled 
her to doe likewise. 

Agatha, beyng a very discrete gentlewoman, and loyyng her 
housbande as an honest woman ought to doe, saied to her in 
aunswere of her talke, that she would bee right glad to see her 
housbande to be suche a man as she wished hyni to be and as 
he ought to be ; but that since she sawe it would not be, and 
that he could not frame hymself thereto, she would not take 
Scorn hym or barre hym of that libertie, whiche either the cua- 
tome of the corrupted worlde, or the priyiledge that men had 
usurped unto themselves, had given unto them, and that she 
would never, for her part, violate or breake that fiuthe whiche 
she had given hym, nor slacke or neclect that care and regarde 
of her honour whiche all women by kinde and nature ought to 
have, as the thing that maketh them to bee most commended 
throughout the worlde, let her housbande doe what he list, and 
like and love as many other women as pleased hym. And 
that she thought herself so niuche the rather bounde so to doe. 


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because he did not in the rest misuse her any waie, or suffer 
her to want anything that reasonably she could desire or crave 
at his hands ; and for that she had not brought hym in effect 
any other dowrie, worthie to bee accompted o^ then her ho- 
nestie : wherefore, she was fully resolved never to varie from 
that constant resolution. And finally, shewyng herself some^ 
what moved and stirred with choler, she tolde her that she 
munrailed at her not a little (that beyng a woman of those 
yeres) that she should rather reprehend and chide yong folke, 
if she should see them so bent, then encourage them to evill, 
and mused much she could finde in her harte to give her suche 
counsell ; whiche she assured her was so displeasant and so 
ungrateful, as if from henceforthe she durst presume to speake 
thereof any more, she would make her understande, perchaunce 
to her smarte, how ill she could awaie with suche pandarly 

This olde hag, havyng had her head washed thus without ly^ 
sope, departed from Agatha, and caime unto the SchoUer and 
tolde hym in breefe how ill she had sped, and in what sorte 
the honest gentlewoman had closed her mouth ; whereof the 
SchoUer was very sory : yet, for all this, he thought he would 
Bot give over his pursute, imaginyng that there is no harte so 
harde or flintie, but by long love, by perseverance, praier, and 
teares, male in the ende be mollified and wrought to be tender. 

In this meane season, Gonsales, still continuyng his olde 
fiuniliaritie with the Scholer, and havyng made hym privie of 
the love he bare unto the courtisane, and what a greefe it was 
unto him to see her enjoyed by any other then by himself, 
one dale, among other talke betwene them of that matter, he 
saied unto the Scholer, that it never grieved hym so muche to 
have a wife as it did then, for that if he had bin unmarried, he 
would have taken Aselgia (for so was the courtisane named) to 
be his wife, without whom he could finde no rest nor quiete in 
Diynde ; and so long as every man hath a share with hym in 
her, he accompted himself as ill as if he had had no parte in 



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her at all: and thereto saied Airther, that assuredly if it 
were not for feare of the lawe, he would ease hymself of that 
burden by riddyng of Agatha out of the worlds* 

Thereunto replied the Scholer, saiyng, that in deede it was 
a grievous thyng for a gentleman to be combred with a 
wife whom he could not finde in his harte to love ; and that 
in suche a case, he that did seeke the best waie he could 
to deliver hymself of that yoke, was not altogether unezeu- 
sable, though the rigor of justice had appointed severe puniahe- 
mentes for suche as violentlie should attempt or execute any 
suche thyng : but that men, that were wise, could well enough 
finde out the meanes whiche waie to woorke their entMites, 
without incurryng any daunger of the lawe for the matter. 

Whiche language, indeede, he used unto hym but to feede 
his humour, and to see wherennto that talke in fine would 
tende, and acoordyng to his desire, before it was long, Gonsales, 
havyng used the like speeches twoo or three tymes, and still 
findyng hym to soothe his saiyng, tooke one date a good hart« 
unto him, and brake his minde unto the Scholer at large, and 
in plaine termes, to this effecte. 

Alonso, (for that was the scholer^s name) I doe assure my- 
self, and make full accompt, that thou art my fiuite freende, as 
I am thyne, and I doubte not but that the freendship whiehe 
is betweene us, doeth make thee no lesse sorie then myself to 
see me greeve with this continuall trouble of mynde wherein I 
live, because I can not compasse to take this woman whom I 
love so dearely to bee my wife, and by that meanes come to 
haife the full possession of her unto myself, whiche is the thyng 
I doe desire above all other thinges in the worlde. And for 
as muche as I dooe perswade myself that by thy meanes, and 
with the helpe of thy profession, I maie happ to finde some 
remedie for my greef, I have thought good to tell thee a con- 
ceit whiche I have, thought on often tymes, wherein I meane 
to use thee and thy assistance for the better accomplishyng of 
my purpose in that behalfe, assuryng myself that thou wilte 


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not refuse or denie me any fiirtheraunce that thy skill mate 
aforde me, or shrinke and drawe backe from the performyng 
of any freendly offer, whereby I maie come by to finde some 
ease of minde, and be delivered of that intoUerable torment of 
epirite wherewith I am oppressed, tor the love of this Aselgia, 
in whom I have fixed and sette all my joyes and delightes. 
Then shalte, therefore, understande that I am determined, as 
scone as I can possible, to ridde my handes of Agatha my 
wife, and by one meane or other to cause her to dye. And I 
have been a this good while about the execution of this my 
entent ; but because I could never yet devise the beste waie to 
performe it, so that her death might not bee laied unto my 
chaige, I have delaied it hetherto, and perforce contente to 
beare the heavie burthen of my grooved mynde till nowe, 
whiche henceforwarde I am resolved to beare no longer, if thou 
wilt, accordyng to my trust in thee and as the freendship 
whiche is betweene us doeth require, graunt me thy fiirtherance 
and helpyng hande. Wherefore, knowyng that through thy 
long studio in phisicke thou haste attained so greate knowledge, 
that thou canst devise a noumber of secretes, whereof any one 
might bee suffioiente to bryng my purpose to effecte, I dooe 
require thee to fulfill my desire in that behalfe, and to give me 
thy helpe to bryng this my desire to passe : whiche if thou 
doe, I will acknowledge myself so long as I shall live to bee so 
muche bounde unto thee, that thou shalt commaunde me and 
all that I have, in any occasion of thine, as freelie and as boldlie 
as thou maiest now any thing that is thine owne. 

The Scholer, when he had heard Gonsales andhisdemaunde, 
stoode still awhile, as musyng upon the requeste, and in the 
meone while discoursed with hymself, how by the occasion of 
this entente and resolution of Gonsales he might perhappes 
finde out a waie to come by the possession of Agatha, and to 
have her in his handes and at his devotion. But, keepyng 
secrete his thoughtes and meanyng, he made hym aunswere, 
that true it was that he wanted not secrete compassions, to 

M 2 


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make foike dye with poison, so as it could never bee discerned 
by any phisition or other, whether the cause were violent or 
no, but that for twoo respectes he thonght it not good to yeeld 
unto his requeste : the one, for that phisicke and phiSitiona 
were appoineted in the worlde, not to bereve menne of their 
lives, but to preserve them and to core them of suche diseases 
as were danngerous and perillous nnto theim : the other, be- 
cause he did forsee in what jeoperdie he should putte his owne 
life, whensoever he should dispose hymself to woorke any suche 
practise, consideryng how severely the lawes have prescribed 
punishementes for suche offences : and that it might &11 out, 
how warely soever the thing were wrought, that by some sel- 
dome or unlocked for accident the matter might be discovered, 
(as for the moste parte it seemeth that God will have it) in 
whiehe case hewerelike toencurre-no lesse daunger then 6on- 
sales, and bothe (assured) without remission to lose their lives. 
And that, therefore, he would not for the first respect take 
upon hym to doe that whiehe was contrarie to his profession ; 
nor for the seconde^ hazarde his life to so certaine a daunger, 
for so hatefull a thing as those practises are to all the worlde. 

Gonsales, verie sorie to heare his deniall, told hym that the 
lawes and dueties of freendship doeth dispense well enough 
with a manne, though for his freende he straine sometyme his 
conscience ; and, therefore, he hoped that he would not for- 
sake hym in a cause that concerned hym so weightilie as that 
did. And that neither of those twoo respectes (if thei were 
well considered) ought to bee able to remove hym from plea- 
suryng of his freende ; for that now adaies, aswell were they 
accompted and estemed phisitions that killed their pacientes, 
as thei that did cure them : and because the thing beyng kept 
secret betweene them twoo alone, he needed not to doubt, or 
feare any daunger of his life by the lawe ; for if it should by 
any mischaunce happen that he should bee imputed or bur- 
thened with poisonyng of his wife, he assured hym that he 
would never, whilest he had breathe, confesse of whom he had 


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the poison, but would rather suffer his tongue to be pulled 
out of his hedde, or endure any torment that might be devised. 

The SchoUer, at the laste, seemyng to bee wonne by the 
eameste of his petition, saied, that upon that eondition and 
promesse of not revealyng him at any tyme, he would be 
content rather to shewe hymself freendlie unto hym, tben a 
true professor of his science, or an exact regarder of his con- 
science, and that he would doe as he would hare hym. 

And, havyng lefte Gonsales verie glad and joyfall for that 
his promesse, he went home, and made a certaine composition 
or mixture of ponders, the vertue whereof was suche, that it 
would make them that tooke any quantitie thereof to slepe so 
soundlie, that thei should for the space of certaine bowers seme 
unto all menne to bee starke dedde. And the nexte daie he 
retoumed to Gonsales, and to deliver it unto hym, saiyng : 
Gonsales, you have caused me to dooe a thyng I proteste I 
would not dooe it for my life ; but since you maie see, thereby, 
that I have regarded more your freendshippe then my duetie, 
or the consideration of that whiche is honest and lawfiill, I 
muste require you eftsones to remember your promesse, and 
that you will not declare to any creature livyng, that you have 
had this poison of me. 

Whiche thinge Gonsales verie constauntlie upon his othe 
did promise hym againe; and havyng taken the pouder of 
him, asked hym in what sorte he was to use it ! And he tolde 
hym, that if at supper he did caste it there upon her meate, or 
into her brothe, she should dye that night followyng, without 
either paine or tormente, or any greevous accidentes, but goe 
awaie even as though she were asleape. That evenyng, at 
supper tyme, Gonsales failed not to put the pouder into his 
wife^s potage, who havyng taken it, as sone as supper was 
doen, feelyng herself verie heavie and drousie, went to her 
chamber and gatte her to bedde, (for she laie not with Gonsales 
but when he liste to call her, whiche had been verie seldome, 
since he did fall into love with the strumpet) and, withifi an 


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hower after, the operation of the poader tooke saclie foroe ia 
lier bodie, that she laje as though she had been dedde, and 
altogether sencelesse. Gonsales, m like sort, when he sawe 
his tyme,' went to his bed, and liyng all that night with a 
troubled minde, thinking what would become of Agatha, and 
what successe his enterprise would take, the momyng eame 
upon hym before he could once close his eyes ; whiehe beeyng 
come, he rose, not doubtyng but that he should assuredlie finde 
his wife dedde, as Alonso had promised hym. 

As soone as he was up he went out of his house, and staied 
but an hower abroade, and then he retoumed home again, and 
asked his maide whether her mistres were up or no. The 
maide made hym aunswere, that she was yet asleape ; and he, 
makyng as though he had manreiled at her long liyng in bedde, 
demaunded her how it happened that she was so slug^she thai 
momyng, contrarie to her custome, whiehe was to rise eyeiy 
momyng by breake of the daie, and badd her goe and wake 
her, for he would have her to give hym something that Uye 
under her keyes. The wenche, according to her maister^s 
commaundement, went to her mistres beddeside, and ha^yng 
called her once or twise somewhat softely, when she sawe she 
waked not, she laied her hand upon her, and givyng her a 
shagge, she saied withall, Mistres, awake ! my maister calleth 
for you. But she liyng still, and not awakyng for aU that the 
maide tooke her by the arme, and beganne to shake her good 
and hard, and she, notwithstandyng, nether answeiyng, nor 
stirryng hande or foote, the maide retoumed to her maister, 
and tolde hym that for aught she could doe she could not 
gett her mistres to awake. Gonsales, hearyng the maide 
to saie so, was glad in his mynde ; but fainyng hymself to 
be busied about somwhat els, and that he regarded little her 
speeche, he bidde her goe againe, and shake her till she did 
waken. The maide did so, and rolled and tumbled her in 
her bed, and all in vaine : wherefore, commyng againe unto 
her maister, she saied unto hym, that undoubtedly she did 


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beleeye that .her mistres, his wife, was dedde, for she had 
founde her verie colde, and rolled her up and doune the bedde, 
and that yet she stirred not. 

What I dedde ! q^ Qonsales, as if he had been all agaste and 
amazed ; and risyng there withall, he went to her beddes side, 
and called her, and shaked her, and wrong her by the fingers, 
and did all that might bee, as he thought, to see whether she 
were alive. But she, not feelyng anything that he did, laie 
still like a dedde boddie, or rather like a stone. 

Wherefore, when he sawe his purpose had taken so good 
effecte, to dissemble the matter he beganne to crie out, and to 
lament, and to detest his crueil destinie, that had so sone be^ 
reyed hym of so kind, so honest, and so &ithfull a wife : and 
haying in the ende discovered her bodie, and finding no spot 
or marke whereby any token or signe of poisonyng might be 
gathered, as one that would not seme to omit any office of a 
loyyng husband, he sent for the phisition to loke upon her ; 
who, havyng used some suche meanes as he thought mete to 
make her come to herself, finally, seyng her to remaine un* 
moveable, and without sence, concluded that some sodaine 
accident had taken her in the night, whereof she had died, and 
for dead he left her. 

At whiche his resolution, though Gonsales were very glad,- 
yet to the outward shewe declaryng hymself to be verie sorie, 
and full of woe and heavinesse, he behaved hymself in suche 
cunnyng sorte, as he made all the worlde beleeve that he would 
not long live after her : and havyng called her freendes, and 
lamented with them her sodaine death and his misfortune, in 
fine, he caused her funerall to bee very snmptuouslie and ho- 
nourably prepared, and buried her in a vaute, whiche served 
for a toumbe to all his ancestours, in a churche of a frierie that 
standes without the citie. 

Alonso, that was verie well acquainted with the place, and 
had hymself a house not verie farre from that frierie, wente his 
waie that same night unto his saied house, and wheu he sawe 


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the tyme to aerye for his purpose, he gatte hym to the raifte 
or toombe wherein Agatha was laied, with one of these little 
lanterns that thei call blinde lanterns, because thei toame them, 
and hide their lite when thei liste. And because he was a 
yong manne of yerie good strengthe, and had brought with 
hym instrumentes of iron to open the toumbe, and lifte up the 
stone that covered it, he gatte it open, and havyng under- 
propped it surely, he went into the vaute, and toke the wonum 
straight waie in his armes, minding to bryng her out, and earrie 
bw awaie so asleape as she was. But the force and vertue of 
the ponder beeyng finished and spent, assone as he moved her 
she awaked out of her sleape, and seyng herself clad in that 
sorte, emong ragges and dedde bones, she beganne to tremble^ 
and to crie : Alas ! where am I ! or who hath brought me 
hether, wretche that I am ! — Marie, that hath your cruell and 
unfaithfuU housebande, aunswered the Scholer ; who havyng 
poisoned you, to marrie a common strumpet, hath buried you. 
here, whether I come to trie if by my skill I could revive you^ 
and call backe your soule, by those remedies whiche I had de- 
vised, unto your bodie againe: whiche if I could not have 
doen as I entended, I was resolved to have died here by you^. 
and to have laied my dedde bodie here by yours, to reste until 
the latter daie, hopyng that my spirite should in the meane 
while have come and enjoyed yours, wherever it had been. 
But since the heavens have been so &vourable unto me, as in 
this extreame daunger wherein you were, to graunt suehe ver- 
tue unto the remedies whiche I have used toward you, as the 
whiche I have been able to keepe undissolved your gentle spi- 
rite with your fidre bodie, I hope (my deare) that you wil 
henceforthe consider what the affection of your wicked hous- 
bande hath been toward you, and how greate good will, and 
by consideration thereof, disceme and resolve whiche of us 
twoo hath beste deserved to be beloved of vou. 

Agatha, findyng herself in tliat sort buried in deede, did 
easily beleeve the truthe whiche the Scholer told her, and to 


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ber-edf condaded that her housebande had shewed hymseU*, in 
her behalf, a man of all other moste cmell and disloyall. 
Whei&ie, toumyng herself toward the Scholer, she saied onto 

Alonso, I can not deny bnt that my housebande hath been 
to me not onely nnkmde, but cruell also : nor I can not but 
eonfet»6 that you have declared yourself to bee moste loyyng 
and affeotioned toward me : and of force I must acknowledge 
myself beholdyng unto you, of no lesse then of my life, since 
(alas !) I see myself here emong dedde bodies, buried alive. 
Bat for as muche, as though my housebande have broken his 
TOW to me, I have not yet at any tyme fiuled my faithe to 
hym, I .doe require you, that if you desire that I should 
esteeme this kind and loyyng office of yours as it deserveth to 
bee esteemed, or make accompt of this life whiche you haye 
^ven me, you will have due regardeand consideration of myne 
honestie, and that you wiU not, by offeryng me any villainie, 
(whiche neverthelesse I can not any waie misdoubte, where I 
have alwaies founde so muche and so greate courtesie) make 
this your courteous and pitifiiU acte to bee lesse commendable 
and praise worthie then it is : whiche, if you dooe bridle your 
unlawMl and sensuall appetite and desire, will remaine the 
moste yertnous and worthie of honour and &me, that eyer 
courteous gentleman hath doen for a miserable woman, since 
the worlde b^an. 

Alonso &iled not with affectuall and manifest argumentes 
to perswade her, that her housband had now no more right or 
title to her at all ; and that although he had, yet, if she were 
wise, she should not conimitte herself unto his courtesie againe, 
since, by this mortall token, he had g;iyen her a sufficient tes- 
timonie of his ranckor andevill will towardes her, whereby she 
might well enough bee assured not to escape, whensoeyer she 
should resolve to putte herself againe into his handes : and that, 
therefore, she- was not to make any accompt of hym, but to 
flhewe herself thankfull for so greate a benefite as she had re- 


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ceived, and to requite hym so with her farour and courtene, 
as he might now in the ende attune to gather the firuite of his 
long and constaunte good will, and of his travell susteined for 
the saffegarde of her life. And with those woordes bendyng 
hymself towarde her, he would have taken a kisse of her lippes, 
but Agatha, thrustyng hym backe, saied to hym again. 

If my housebande (Alonso) have broken those bandes, where- 
with I was knit unto hym by matrimoQie, throu^ his wicked 
and leude demeanour^ yet have not I for my parte dissolved 
theim, neither will I at any tyme, so long as I shall live. As 
for committyng myself unto his courtesie, or goyng any more 
into his handes, therein I thinke it good to foUowe your ad- 
vise : not that I would bee unwillyng to live and dwell with 
hym, if I might hope to finde hym better disposed, but because 
I would be lothe to fall eflsones into the like daunger and 
grevous perill. And as for requityng you for this your com- 
mendable travaile in my behalfe, I knowe not what better re- 
compence I am able to give you, then to rest bounde unto you 
for ever, and to acknowledge myself beholdyng unto your cour- 
tesie for my life ; whiche obligation, if it male satisfie you, I 
will be as glad and as content as I male bee in this miserable 
state wherein I am. But if your meanyng perchance bee, that 
the losse of myne honestie should bee the rewarde and hire for 
your paines, I dooe beseehe you to departe hence out of this 
toumbe, and to leave me here enclosed ; for I had rather dye 
here, thus buried quicke through the crueltie of my housband, 
then through any such compassion or pitie to save m}' life, 
with the losse of myne honour and good name. 

The Scholer by those wordes perceived well enough the 
honest disposition of Agatha, whiche he wondered at, oonsi- 
deryng that the terror of death it self was not able once to 
move her from her fidthfiilnes and constancie of minde. And 
though it were grievous unto him to finde her so stediast, 
yet hopyng that by tyme in the ende he might overcome her 
chaste and honest purpose, aunswered, that he could not but 


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ooDimende her for her disposition, though he deserved a kinder 
reoompence of hb long and fervent love, and she a more lovyng 
and faithfull housbande. But since she was so resolved, he 
would frame himself to be content with what she would, and 
not crave of her any thjng that she would not willingly graunt 
hym to have. And therewith helpyng her out of the sepulcher, 
he led her home unto his house, and lefte her there with an olde 
woman that kept his house, to whom he recomended her, and 
whose helpe he was assured of,. to dispose the good will of 
Agatha towardes hym, and the next momyng retoumed into 
the citie. 

Gonsales, after a fewe dales, seeming not to be able to live 
without a wife to take care of his &milie, wedded that honest 
dame, Aselgia, and made her mistres of hymself and all that 
he had. This, his newe manage, so sone contrived, caused 
the freendes of Agatha to marvaile not a little, and to. mis- 
doubte that the sodaine death of their kinsewoman had not 
happened without some misterie. Neverthelesse, havyng no 
token, nor evidence, or profe, thei helde their peace. But 
Gonsales havyng his desired purpose, and livyng with his 
newe wiib, it befell unto hym (through Goddes just judgement 
with this his joly dame) as it chaunced to Agatha with hym 
before; for Aselgia, that was never wont to feede with so 
spare a diet, as she that had never bin contented before with- 
out greate chaunge, nor had not bin used to that kinde of 
straightnes (which Gonsales, s^rowing jelous of her, began to 
keepe her in), but had alwaies lived at libertie, and with suche 
licentiousnesse, as women of her pn^ession are wont to doe, 
became in shorte space to shewe herself so precise unto hym, 
and to hate and abhorre hym in suche extreme sorte, that she 
could not abide to see, or heare hym spoken of: by occasion 
of whiche her demeanour towardes hym, Gonsales, to his 
greefe, began at last to knowe and to disceme what difference 
there is betweene the honest and carefoll love of an ' honest 
wife, and the dissemblyng of an arrant strumpet. Wherefore 


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one dale, among the rest, complainyng of the little lore whiehe he 
perceived she bare hym, and she aunsweryng hym thawartly, 
Gonsales, fallyng into heate of choler, saied angerly unto her. 
Have I, thou naaghtie packe, poysoned Agatha for thy sake, 
that was the kindest and the lovingest wife that ever man 
had ! and is this the rewarde I hare, and the requitall thou 
yeeldest me, to shewe thyself every daie more despighteAiU and 
crabbed than other ! — Aselgia havyng heard hym, and noted 
well his wordes, tooke holde of them, and straight waie thought 
that she had founde the waie to rid herself of Gonsales : 
wherefore she revelled his speeches unto a ribalde of hers, 
such a one as supplied her want of that which €ronsales alone, 
nor ten suche as he were able to satisfie her withall, and in- 
duced hym to appeache hym for that facte, assuryng herself 
that the lawe would punishe hym with no lesse then death, 
and thereby she to remaine at libertie to dooe what she list 
againe, as she had doen before. This companion accused 
Gonsales upon his owne wordes unto the freendes of Agatha, 
who, havyng had halfe a suspition thereof before, went and 
accused him likewise before the judge, or hed magistrate of 
the citie ; whereupon Gonsales and his woman were both ap- 
prehended, and put to their examinations, to searche out the 
truthe ; which Gonsales being halfe convicted by the confes- 
sion of the gentle peate, his newe wife, but chiefly grieved 
with the worme of his owne conscience, and to avoyde the 
torment of those terrors which he knewe were prepared for 
him, confessed flatly, affirmyng that he had poysoned her with 
a poysone which he had kept of long tyme before in his house, 
perfourmyng yet therein the promise whiche he had made 
unto the Scholer. And upon his owne confession sentence was 
given against hym, that he should loose his hed. 

Alonso, when he understoode that Gonsales was condemned 
to dye, was very glad thereof, supposyng that he beeyng once 
dead, Agatha (who all this while, for anythyng that the olde 
woman could sale or alledge unto her in the behalfe of Alonso, 


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would never yeeld or consent to any one poincte wherein her 
hoHour might have beene touched or spotted) should remaine 
at his discretion, and that she would no longer refuse to 
graunt hym her good will, when she should see her self deli- 
vered of Gtmsales. But the daie beyng come wherein he was 
to be put to execution, she havyng had inteligence of all that 
had passed, and knowyng that he was appointed to dye that 
daie, determined with herself that she would in that extremitie 
deUver her disloyall housebande, and give hym to understande 
how little she had deserved to bee so entceated by hym as she 
had be^i. Wherefore, havyng gotten out of Alfonso his house, 
she hied her unto the citie as fast as she could, and beeyng 
before the justice or magistrate she saied unto him : Sir, Gon- 
sales, whom you have condemned and commaunded to be put 
to death this daie, is wrongfully condemned ; for it is not true 
that he hath poysoned his wife, but she is yet alive, and I am 
she : therefore, I beseehe you, give order that execution maie 
be staied, since that your sentence grounded upon a false 
enformation and confession, is unjust, as you maie plainly 
disceme, by me beyng here. 

When the govemour heard Agatha speake in this sorte, 
whom he had thought to have been deade and buried, he was 
all amazed, and halfe afiraied to looke upon her, doubtyng that 
she was rather her spirite or ghoste, or some other in her like- 
nesse, then a lively woman in deede ; for she was apparelled 
in a very plaine and black attyre, and was very wanne and 
pale, by reason of the affliction whiche she had indured, first 
for her owne ill fortune, and then for the mischaunce of her 

In this meane while the sergantes and officers had brought 
Oonsales before the justice or magistrate, to the ende that he 
(accordyng to the custome of the citie) should give them com- 
maundement to leade hym to the place of execution, and there 
to fulfill his sentence upon him ; but as sone as Agatha per- 
ceived hym, she ranne unto hym, and takyng hym aboute the 

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necke, and kissing him, she said, Alas ! my deare housebande, 
whereunto doe I see you brought through your owne folly and 
disordinat.e appetite, which blinded your judgement i Behulde 
here your Agatha alive, and not deade ; who even in this ex- 
tremitie is come to shewe herself that lovyng and &ithftill wife 
unto you that she was ever. 

The justice or govemour, seyng this straunge accident, 
caused execution to be staled, and signified the whole case 
unto the lorde of the countrey, who at that tyme chaunced to 
be at Sciville : who, wonderyng no lesse then the other at the 
matter, caused bothe Gonsales and his wife to be brought be- 
fore him, and demaunded of them how it had chaunced that 
she, havyng bin buried for deade, was now found alive ? Gon- 
sales could saie nothyng, but that for the love he bare unto 
Aselgia he had poysoned his wife, and that he knewe not how 
she was revived againe. But Agatha declared how the SchoUer, 
with his skill, had delivered her from death, and restored her 
life unto her, but how or by what meanes she could not tell. 

The Lorde havyng sent for Alonso, and demaunded hym of 
the truth, was certified by hym, how that in steede of poison 
he had given to Gonsales a ponder to make her sleape ; af- 
firmyug likewise, that notwithstandyng the long and eameste 
pursuite whiche he had made to obt'aine her love, and the 
crueltie and injurie whiche she sawe her housebande had used 
towarde her, to put her in that daunger and perill of her life, 
out of whiche he had delivered her, yet could he never by any 
perswasion or entreatie winne her to fulfill his desire, or bryng 
her to make breache of her fiuthe and honestie. • By whiche 
reporte the Lorde knewe verie well, that in an honest woman 
the regarde and respect of her honour and chastitie doeth ferre 
exceade any other passion, for any miserie, be it never so 
great ; and commendyng highly the love and constancie of the 
woman towarde her housebande, and praisyng the pollicie of 
Alonso, he toumed hymself unto Gonsales, and saied unto 
hym. Full evill hast thou deserved to have so good and so 


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verteoiifi a gentlewoman to thy wife, and in reason she ought 
now rather to be Alonso his wife then thine: neither wert 
thou worthie of lease then that punishment which the lawe 
hath condempned thee unto, though she be yet alive, since thou 
as much as in thee laye hast doen to bereve her of her life ; but 
I am content that her yertue and goodnesse shall so muche 
be available unto thee, that thou shalt have thy life spared 
unto thee for this tyme. Not for thy owne sake, because thou 
deservest it not, but for hers, and not to give her that sorowe 
and greefe whiche I knowe she would feele, if thou shouldest 
dye in that sorte ; but I sware unto thee, that if ever I male 
understande that thou dooest use her henceforth otherwise 
then lovyngly and kindely, I will make thee, to thy greevous 
paine, prove how severely I can punishe suche beastly and 
heinous factes, to the example of all others. 

Cronsales, imputyng his former offence to want of witte and 
judgemente, made promis unto the Lorde that he would 
alwaies dooe as he had commanded hym ; and aecordinglie, 
havyng forsaken cleane that baggage strumpette that he had 
wedded, he lived al the rest of his daies in good love and 
peace with Agatha Ids wife ; whose chaste and constant minde 
eaused Alonso, where before he loved her for her exterior 
beauty, ever after to reverence her, and in maner to worship 
her as a divine creature, for the excellencie of her vertue, 
resolving with hymself, that a more constaunt &ithe and 
honest disposition could not bee founde in any mortall woman. 


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Aramanthus^ foonne to Rodericke^ Kyng of Tolasia^ beeyng 
borne a kper^ teas sent by hie father to the He of Candy for 
remedie^ and by a tempeste at the sea the jshippe teas driven 
into Turkie^ where she was ccute atoaie^ and no manne saved 
but the childe; tehiche teas taken up by a poore fisherman^ and 
fostered as his oumesoonne^ and afterwardes^ ^ervyng the Turke 
in his warres^ shewed himself so politique^ that the Turke, by 
his onely advise, incroached muche upon the Christians, and^ 
in fine, by his meane, the City of Tohsia was taken, his father 
put in prison, and how in the ende he teas knowne to bee the 
soonne of Bodericke. 

I shall not neede by any long circumataonce to discribe 
how many troubles, tumultes, broyles, brabbles, murthers, trea- 
sons ; how many kingdomes have been disturbed, how many 
countries laied waste : how many cities have been racked, how 
many tonnes have been rased, and how many mischeefes have 
ever happened, sithence the firste creation of the worlde untill 
this present daie, by that monsterous vice, ambition, con- 
sideryng'that every historic maketh mention, every chronicle 
beareth recorde, and every age, tyme, and season, have seen 
with their eyes, and this our tale that foUoweth shall some- 
thyng make more evident. 

There was sometyme remainyng in the famous citie of 

4 Tolosia a worthie k'3^g, whose name was Bodericke, who was 

likewise espoused to a moste vertuous queene, called Isabell : 


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and iraely a happie court it might bee called, whiche thei 
held, as well for the love that was betweene the kyug and 
qaeene, aa for the vertae and clemencie wherewith bothe the * 
one and the other were accompanied. 

There was remainyng in the coort the Duke of Garia, who ^ 
was the onely brother of Bod^ricke, Kyng of Tolosia. This 
Duke, beejmg a greate deale more vicious then his brother was 
verteous, practised no other thing, but how he might come by 
the kyngdome of Tolosia ; knowing that there were no more 
betweene hym and it but the Kyng, who loved hym more 
dearely by a greate deale then he deserved. But it fell out 
the Queene Isabell was knowne to bee with childe, the Duke, 
verie lothe that any other heires should steppe in betwene 
hym and home, devised to poyson the Queene, and so had 
thought to have doden by as many as the Kyng should have 
taken to wife (if at any tyme thei proved to be with child), 
but by the providence of Qod this poyson tooke no greate 
effeete in the Queene, saving that when she was delivered of a 
Sonne, the child was founde to be in a notable leprosie : and ^ 
the Kyng, havyng intelligence of an excellent phisition (but 
especially for the curying of that disease) was remainyng in 
the isle of Candy, prepared a ship presently to sende the 
ehilde, whiche by the extreamitie of a contrarie winde was 
driven into Turkie, and the shippe caste awaie uppon the 
maine, and all the menne drouned exceptyng the childe, whiche 
beyng in a cradle was carried to the shore as it laye ; where a 
fisherman founde it, with suche sumptuous furnitures aboute 
it, with a verie riche Jewell hangyng aboute the necke. He 
tooke it up in his armes, and cariyng it home, with bathes and 
homely oyntmentes of his owne devising, within a very little 
space the childe was restored to perfecte health, whom he 
called. Aramanthus, and brought hym up as his owne sonne^ 
the childe knowyng no other in deede, but that the fisherman 
had been his father. And as Ammanthus grewe in yeres, so 
he proved of a verie comely personage, but of a moste excel- 


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lent and perfecte witte, although he had no other trainyng up, 
but used to goe to the sea with his &ther a fishyng. 

Now, it fell out that the Tnrke was leaviyng a mightie 
arniie, to set upon the Cristians : the cause was this : he had 
twoo children, a sonne and a daughter; the daughter, her 
name was Florella, whose beautie was yerie excellent, and 
minding to matche his daughter with some noble prince, he 
pretended that suche countries, cities, tonnes, castelles, f^^rtes, 
or whatsoever he could by conquest get from the Christians, 
to give them all for his daughter's dowrie. 

Aramanthus, hearyng of this preparation to the warres, 
would needes become a souldier, whereat his &ther, the fisher- 
man, was greatly displeased, and beganne to preache unto his 
Sonne of the incommodities of warre, and with how many mi- 
series souldiers are besieged. Aramanthus, whose basenesse 
' of his bringyng up could not conceale the nobility of his 
birthe, would in no wise be perswaded, but goe he would ; and 
beyng pressed for an ordinarie souldier, when he came to the 
place of service shewed hymself so valiant, and in verie shorte 
space became to be so expert, that that captaine under whose 
ensigne he served bare awaie the credite from all the reste ; 
and in the ende was hymself preferred to charge, whiche he 
governed with so greate discretion, and still conducted with 
suche celeritie and sleight, that who but Armanthus and his 
companie had the onely name throughout the Turkes campe : 
and where there was any attempt to be given, where valiancie 
should bee showne, Aramanthus he must give the charge ; 
and where any policie must bee put in practise, Aramanthus 
he must laye the platte : that, to bee shorte, he grewe into 
suche credite with the greate Turke hymself, that Araman- 
thus onely gave hym consaill in all his afiaires, and there 
withall had so good successe, that his practises stil prevailed, 
and came to happie ende, that the Turke by his advise had 
dooen wonderftill spoiles upon the Christians, and had taken 
from them many cities, tonnes, and provinces. And thus, 


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leavyng them in the warres for a season, I will 
tale againe to Isabella queene and wife to Bodericke, who 
was now the second time knowne to be with child ; whereat 
the Duke of Garia beyng wonderfully wrothe, pretendyng to 
finde a qnicke dispatche for all together, he secretly accused 
the Queene of adulterie to the King, his brother, and with 
Buche allegations and fiilse witnesses as he had provided, so 
enformed the king, that his tale was credited : and the rather 
for the Kyng, knowyng his Queene to bee with child, did 
thinke hy mself too &rre spent in yeres to dooe suche a deede ; 
and yet the Kyng was replenished with so greate pitie, that 
he could not endure to heare of her death : he therefore by a 
messenger commaunded her presently to departe the court, and 
in paine of her life never after to come in his presence. These 
newes did wonderftilly amaze the Queene, who, with many 
piteous intercessions, desired to knowe her accusers, and that 
she might but speake for herself before his Majestie, and then, 
as he should finde her, to use her accordyng to her deseites i 
but all in vaine, for the Duke had so throughlie incensed the 
King, that he would neither abide to see, nor heare her. 

The Duke, understandyng how matters had passed, came to 
the Queene, and seemed muche to lamente her case, per* 
swadyng her to holde herself contented for a little season, not 
doubtyng but in tyme that he hymself would so perswade 
with his brother, that she should bee heard to speake in her 
owne defence : in the meane season, if it pleased her to use 
his house in the eountrey, he would provide for her all manor 
4>f necessaries whatsoever she should want ; and for her better 
comfort, if she had any assured freendes, whose companie shd 
desired, that she might secretly sonde for theim to holde her 
fellowshipp, and to passe the tyme; and that he hymself 
would many tymes visite her, and daiely enforme her how 
matters did passe in her behalfe with the Kyng his brother. 

The poore Queene, thinkyng all had proceaded of good will 
whiche this traitour had proferred, gave him more than a 



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thousande ihankes, reposyng herself, and the innocencie of her 
cause, onely in this Judas, who practised nothyng els but her 
death, and the death of that she went withall. 

The nexte daie he provided a couple of ruffians, suche as 
he knewe were for his purpose, whiche should have secretely 
conveighed her to the Duke's house (as she had thought) ; 
but as the Duke had willed them, as thei rode over a forest, 
when they came to the side of a woode, they took her from 
her horse, spoiled her of suche thynges as were aboute her, 
and niynded to have killed her, and throwne her in some 
bushe. But it fell out that there were certaine banished menne 
in the woode, whiche lived in that desarte in manner of out- 
lawes, and hearyng the piteous complainte of the Queene thei 
came to her rescue ; but the villaines, that would have slain 
her, perceivyng them, fledde and left the Queene, where these 
outlawes came unto her, unto whom, from point to point, she 
declared every thyng, how it was happened unto her. The 
outlawes, havyng greate compassion when thei knewe her to 
be the Queene, for that thei had ever heard her to be noblie 
reported on, brought her with theim to their cave, where thei 
ministered suche releef to her distresse as menne might dooe 
that were in their estates. The Queene, thinkyng that God 
had preserved her life to some better purpose, contented her- 
self for a season to remaine emongest theim, where she learned 
to plaie the cooke, and to dresse their meate, suche as thei 
brought in, or could provide for in the forest. And thus, 
leavyng the Queene with these outlawes, I will retoume againe 
to speake of Aramanthus, whf> was now devisyng to frame a 
plotte, how he might betraie the citie of Tolosia, whereof his 
father was kyng, as you have heard. 

For the Turke havyng intelligence of the pleasauntnesse of 
this citie, and of the wonderfuU wealthe and riches wherewith 
it did abounde, and therewithall had learned that it was of 
suche force and inviusible strengthe, that there was no manner 
of hope how it might be subdued, whereat the Turke was verie 


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sorrowfuU and sadde ; but my yoDg fisherman, Aramanthus, 
whose cunnyng never failed where courage could not helpe, 
caused the Turke, with his whole armie, by sea to come before 
this citie, which is situate &ste upon the sea side, and there 
to come to an anker, where Aramanthus hymself, as a mes- 
senger appointed from the Turke, came to the Kyng of To- 
losia, to whom he told this tale : That the Turke, his maister, 
l^'^T^g ^11 ^^ divers partes of Christendome, where he had 
made warres a long space, and upon divers considerations 
mindyng to departe with his armie into his owne countrey for 
a season, and beyng upon the seas, one night as he was liyng 
upon his bedde, beholde a vision appeared unto hym in a 
dreame, whiche shewed hym how greevously he had ofiended 
the God of the Christians in persecutyng, spoilyng, and the 
murtheryng of theim, as he had doen in this journey ; and for 
that he should knowe that the Christian God was the moste 
hi<i^h and Almightie God indeed, whom with his tyrannic he 
had so displeased, he should bee creepled of all his limmes 
from that tyme forthe till his diyng daie, whiche should verie 
shortlie followe : with this he awaked, and givyng a piteous 
grone, suche as was about him commyng unto hym, founde 
hym in a wounderfoU maze, and so benummed in all his 
partes, that he was not able to stirre hande nor foote. The 
next daie, callyng his counsailers and captaines aboute hym, 
not able of hymself to come forthe emongest theim, but as he 
was brought out of his cabbin on men^s backes, he declared 
unto theim the whole circumstance of the premisses, and beyng 
striken with a wonderfiiU remorse in conscience, he determined 
to saile backe againe, not myndyng to depart from out those 
partes of Christendome till he had made satisfaction of all 
suche spoiles and outrages as he had committed againste the 
Christians, and hymself with his whole armie to become 
christened, and there to be instructed in the true and perfect 
fiuth : and as he continued this determination, beholde a con- 
trary winde hath driven us on these partes, where hearyng of 


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the fame of this noble citie of Tolosia, he hath sent me unto 
your grace, desiryng nothyng bnt your saffe conduct for hym- 
self, and certaine of his cheef lordes and counsailers that be 
aboute hym, that in this noble citie thei might be baptized, 
and receive the Christian &ithe, promisyng hereafter not onely 
to joyne in league and perfecte amitie with the Christians, but 
also to lincke with them in religion, hymself, his countries, 
kyngdomes, and provinces. 

This t^le was not so smothly tolde, but there was greate 
dpubte and suspition had in the matter : in the ende, thinkyng 
thei could receive no prejudice by receivyng of so small a 
nomber, gave safe condite for the Turke hymself, and for five 
hundred of his companie, such as it pleased hymself to appointe. 

The next daie the Turke was brought into the citie on 
mennes shulders, with his appointed companie, where he was 
worthely received by the Kyng hymself, with the rest of his 
lordes, and brought into a pallace of purpose, verie richely 
furnished, where beyng laied doune upon a bed, as though he 
had been able neither to stande nor sit, and givyng the Eyng, 
with the rest of his companie, greate thankes for his enter- 
tainment, he desired hym, with the Duke his brother (ac- 
cordyng to the custome) to be his godfathers when he should 
be christened, to whiche request thei bothe willingly agreed. 
The next daie the Turke hymself was the first that received 
Christendom e, and then all the reste of his noble menne that 
were wyth hym, the whiche beeyng finished, many godlie ex- 
hortations were preached unto theim by learned men. The 
Turke seemed in verie gratefull maner to take this courtesie 
wherewith the Eyng had used hym; and thus takyng his 
leave, hymself with all his companie departed againe aborde 
the shippes, the Turke hymself beyng caried upon mennes 
backes, making showe as though he had been so feeble and 
weake, that he had not been able to have mooved or stirred 
any one joynt without heipe, fainyng that he would have 
departed with his companie into Turkic. 


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. The Kyng of Tolosia, with all his people and citezens, 
sejng with what devotion the Torke, with the rest of his 
eompanie, had received christendome, beganne to thiuke as- 
saredlj, that onely by the devine providence of God the Turke 
was so converted, and doubted nothyng of the tale whiche 
Aramanthas before had tolde them, whiche toumed in the 
ende to their utter subversion : for the next daie Aramanthus 
commyng againe to the Kjng, brought woorde of the death 
of the Turke, and with a piteous discourse, uttered with a nom- v/ 
ber of &ined sighes, saied, that aboute twelve a docke of the 
night paste the Turke deceased, and desired at the houre of his 
death, that as in this worthie citie he had received the true 
Gatholike faithe, so likewise that he might be entoumbed, and 
receive Christian buriall in the cathedrall churche, to the 
whiche he had given by his will fourtie thousande frankes ; \ 
more to the common treasure of the citie a hundred thousande 
frankes ; to the Kyng himself, as a president of his good will, 
a riche jeweU, whiche hymself did weare, of greate estimation ; 
to the Duke, his brother, his owne armour and furniture. 
Item, to the releef of the poore within the citie tenne thou- 
sande frankes. Many other thynges {<y Aramanthus) he hath 
bequeathed that I have not spoken of, the whiche, God willing, 
shal be performed to the uttermoste. 

The Kyng seemed greatelie to lamente the death of the 
Turke, and began to conjecture assuredly that it was the 
will of God but to preserve his life till he had received chris- 
tendome, but the tyme of his buriall was deferred for cer- 
taine dales, till thynges might be provided, and more readie 
for the pompe and solempnisyng of his iunerall ; and wonder- 
full cost was bestowed by Aramanthus, who had the onely 
orderyng of the matter, hopyng in the ende to receive the 
whole commoditie, and also to be rewarded with a large and 
bountifull intrest. The daie of buriall beyng at hande, Ara- 
manthus desired the Kyng, that for so muche as the Turke 
had finished his daies in the middest of his armie, emongst his 


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souldiers, that he might likewise be buried like a noble cap- 
taine, and accordjng to the maner of the feeld, he might he 
brought to his grave with certaine bandes, trailing their wea- 
pons, as the castome of sonldiers is to burie their dedde. This 
request seemed to bee verie conyenient, and therefore was the 
readlier graunted. But what should I stand with long cir- 
cumstaonce to discipher all the ceremonies that were used in 
this treason i The daie was come that this practise must be 
put in ure, and an emptie coffin solempnlj brought to the citie, 
under showe of greate sorowe, when they were al filled with 
greate joye and gladnesse to see what happie successe was like 
to followe of that thei had premeditated : and, accordjng as 
Aramanthus had given order, five thousande of their choise men 
were appoincted to marche, the one halfe before, and the other 
halfe after the coffin, trailyng their ensignes and weapons ; and 
in this maner thei entered the citie, where the Kyng, with his 
nobles and principalles of the citie, were readie in moumyng 
weedes to accompanie the corse. 

When Aramanthus sawe his tyme the alarum was given, 
and he hymself was the first that laied handes of the Kyng 
his father : the rest of his nobles were so enclosed, that there 
could not one of them escape : defence there was none to be 
made, for the one side were in armes, killyug and murthering 
of as many as thei could see stirryng in the streates, the other 
side unprovided, glad to hide themselves for the savegard of 
their lives. The reste of the fleete were likewise in a readi- 
nesse, and ronnyng a lande, entered the citie, where there was 
no manne to repulse theim. 

And thus the famous citie of Tolosia was taken by the 
Turkes, even in a moment, without any maner of resistaunce. 
The churches and prisons were filled fuU of Christians, where 
thei were whipped, racked, and tormented to the death, unlesse 
thei would forsake their &ithe: the Kyng hymself, with his 
brother and all the lordes, were committed to prison, there to 
\ be fedd with bread and water, (and yet to be scantled with 


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suche short alowance, as it was not able to suffice nature) and 
80 to be dieted, unlesse thei would forsake their faithe. 

Now the Turke, who onely by the meanes of Aramanthus 
had conquered firom the Christians so many cities and tounes, 
for the love he bare unto hym, and in respecte of his service, 
determined to make Aramanthus his soonne in lawe, and to 
give hym his daughter Florella for his wife, and for her dowrie, 
all suche partes as he had taken from the Christians by con- 
quest : and understanding that the &ther of Aramanthus was 
but a poore fisherman, he pretended likewise to make hym a 
duke, and to give hym Uvyng to maintaine his estate. The 
Turke, therefore, with all possible speede, hasted messengers 
with shippyng to bryng his daughter, with the olde fisherman 
the supposed &ther of Aramanthus, to this citie of Tolosia, 
where he minded to performe that he had determined. 

Now, it fell out that the miserable Queene Isabel (whom you 
have heard was left with child, remainyng with certaine out- 
lawes) was delivered of a daughter, whiche she herself nursed 
in the cave, where she had remained ; and hearyng that the 
Turke had taken the citie of Tolosia, would needes goe see 
what was become of the Kyng her housebande. Her daughter, 
whiche was not yet fully a yere old, she committed to the out-' 
lawes, to bee fostered with suche homely junkettes as thei could 
provide, who, seyng her determination, promised to drie nurse 
the child so well as thei could till she should make retoume. 

Thus, preparyng herself in a verie simple attire, with a bon- 
dell of broomes on her hedde, she came to the citie of Tolosia, 
where, roming up and doune the streates to sell her broomes, 
she learned all that had happened to the Kyng, and how he 
was readie to perishe, for want of foode and sustenance : where- 
fore, myndyng to give such succours as her habilitie would 
serve, she devised, in the maner of a poore servaunt, to gette 
into the service of the Turke, who was the jailer and had the 
custodie of the Kyng, where, every night, as oportunitie would 
serve, she conveighed to hym, through a grate, suche frag- 


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mentes as she spared out of her owne beallie, whiche were verie 
shorte, and there withall muche more homelie, bat somethyng 
the better to amende his cheare, she would lean herself cloase 
to the grate, and thrustyng in her teate betwene the irons, the 
Eyng learned againe to sucke ; and thus she dieted him a long 

Neither wiste the Kyng what she was, that bestowed on 
hym so greate grace and goodnesse, yet he blessed her more 
then a thousande tymes a daie ; and although there were 
many of his companie that died for wante of sustenaunce, yet 
he againe, with these banquettes, recovered hymself, and began 
to waxe strong. Whereat the Turke beganne to suspecte 
some parciallitie in the jailer, and caused a privie watche to 
bee kepte ; but Isabell, suspectyng nothyng, accordyng to her 
accustomed manor, at night when it was darke, came to her 
nurserie, where her order that she so long used was espied ; 
and beeyng apprehended by the watche, the next daie she was 
presented to the Turke, and in what maner thei had founde 
her. Whereat the Turke, wonderfullie agreeved, sware by Ma- 
hounde hymself that she should presentlie bee tortured, 
with the greatest tormentes that might be devised ; and in 
the middest of his furie, woorde was brought hym that his 
daughter Florella, with the fisherman that was &ther to Ara- 
manthus, were arrived, and readie to present themselves before 
hym : whereat the Turke wonderfullie rejoyced, and callyng 
Aramanthus, caused them to bee brought in. Florella gave 
that reverence to the Turke, whiche bothe appertained to the 
duetie of a childe, and also as belonged to his estate : Ara- 
manthus, likewise, although he were the greateste counsailour 
apertinent to the Turke, yet used that duetifuU reverence to 
the fisherman his father, as is to bee required in a childe. The 
Turke, imbracyng his daughter Florella, tolde her the cause 
that he had sent for her was to espouse her to Aramanthus, 
who, although the destinies had denaied to make noble by place 
of birthe, yet through his vertues, valiaunce, and worthie ex- 


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ploitee, he had gained the title of trae nobilitie, in despite of 
Fortune^s teeth. Florella, havyng heard of the &me and wor- 
thinesse of Aramanthus, was the beste pleased woman in the 
worlde ; and the Tonrke, tournyng hym towardes the fisher- 
man, saiedy And a thonsande tjmes happie art thoo, old 
fitther, that haste lived to see thyself so highly exalted in thy 

The poore fisherman, kneelyng donne, saied : Moste mightie 
and magnificente prince, not mindyng longer to conceale the 
thing whiche might redounde so greatly to the contentation of 
sdche worthie personages, seyng then that Aramanthus, who 
onely through his owne valianncie hath aspired to so greate 
dignitie and honour, how greatly were I then to be blamed, 
and how worthely might I be condemned, if I should take 
upon me to bee the sire of hym, who by all likelihoode is de- 
scended of roiall and princelie race : for better testimonie, be- 
hold this riche mantell, and these other costly fiimitures, 
wherein I founde Aramanthus wrapped, and, by seemyng, saved 
by his cradell, whiche brought hym a shoore from some shippe 
that was wracked, where I founde hym by the sea side, (as I 
saie) wrapped in these sumptuous fiimitures, with this riche 
and precious jewell about his necke, beyng but an infaunte, by 
conjecture not above the age of a quarter of a yere ; where, 
takyng hym up in my armes, I brought hym home to my 
house, called hym by the name of Aramanthus, and thus fos- 
tered hym up as my owne child, untill the dale that he came 
to serve your majestic in the warres. 

TheQueene Isabell, whiche stoode by and heard this discourse, 
and seyng the furnitures, and the jewelles wherwith she had 
decked her childe, assuryng herself that Aramanthus was her 
soonne, could no longer staie her speeche, but saied : And doe 
I then beholde my sonne with my unhappie eyes ? is he living 
here in presence whom I deemed to bee dedde! Oh, moste 
gracious goddes ! I yeelde you humble ihankes. And would to 
God, my soonne, thy commyng had been but halfe so happie 


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as thy presence is joyfiill to me, thy wretched mother ! — What 
newes be these (q^ the Turke) which I heard ; I think the 
woman be out of her wittes. But what art thou that wouldest 
chalenge Aramanthus for thy sonne, whose parentes, now I 
wel perceive, are no beggars like thyself! — Yes, surely, (q^ the 
Queene) and much more miserable then those that goe from 
doore to doore, and although his &ther sometyme swaied the 
sworde of govemement, and satt in place and seate of princely 
throne. — Dispatche then at once, (q^ the Turke) and tell me 
who is his father, and what is the miserie wherewith he is 
perplexed : wherein if thou canst perswade me with a truth, 
assure thee that, onely for Aramanthus sake, I am the man 
that will minister release. 

Behold then, (q, the Queene) Eyng Bodericke is his father, 
whom thy self keepest here in pryson, in this miserable manor ; 
and I, whom thou seest here, am his mother, the wyfe of the 
Kyng, and sometyme the Queene of this wretched citie of 
Tolosia : who beyng delivered of a soonne, whiche by the plea- 
sure of God was visited in my wombe, and borne in an ex- 
treame leprosie, for helpe whereof he was sent by his &ther 
by shippyng to the ile of Candy, and till this presente daie 
there was never tidynges heard, either of the shippe, or of any 
one man that was in her. And now, beholde ! I see with myne 
eyes the furnitures wherein I wrapped my childe, and the 
Jewell whiche I put about his necke with myne owne handes at 
his departure. The fisherman, verifybg this tale to be true, 
saied indeede that he found him in an extreame maladie, which 
he cured himself with medicines of his own providing. 

Aramanthus, havyng heard how matters were sorted out, 
beganne to teare hymself, saiyng, Ah, moste wicked and un- 
naturall wretche ! what friries have saved thee, that thou wert 
not dround with the reste, but that thou must be preserved as 
an instrument to woorke thy parentes wracke ! Gome, come, 
you hellishe hagges, and shewe your force on hym that hath 
worthely deserved it. But what hath Tantalus offended, that 


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he should continually bee sterved ! or how hath Sisiphus, that 
rowles the restlesse stone ! or what trespasse hath beene com- 
mitted by Prometheus, Ixyon, Titian, or Danaus sillie daughters, 
drawyng water at the welle, that maie bee compared to that 
whiche I have dooen t is it possible, then, that I should escape 
unpunished, or that the sacred goddes will be unrevenged of my 
&cte? No, no; I have deserved to bee plagued, and have 
merited more worthely to bee tormented then any of these afore 

Florella, overhearyng these desperate speeches, fell doune 
in a Bowne, for greef to see her Aramanthus so disquieted. 
The Turke, after his daughter was come againe to herself, sor- 
rowed to see the heavinesse of Aramanthus, caused the Kyng 
his father, with the Duke of Garia, presently to be sent for out 
of prison ; and taking Isabell on the one of his handes, and 
Aramanthus on the other, he sayed to the Kyng: Receive 
here, noble prince, a moste lovyng and faithAiU wife, and a 
moste valiaunt and worthie soonne; and myself, from an 
enemie, for ever after this to become thy moste assured and 
trustie freende. 

The Kyng was wonderftilly amazed to heare these speeches^ 
did thinke hymself to bee in some dreame, till in the ende he 
heard the whole discourse how every thyng had happened, and 
beyng ravished with gladnesse, he saied : ! happie evill, 
whiche bryngeth in the ende so greate a good i and welcome bee 
that sorrowe, whereby is sprong a joye muche more sur- 
mountyng then ever was any heavinesse. And with many like 
speeches, he still embraced his sonne Aramanthus in his armes ; 
and although he understoode that it was the Queene, his wife, 
which so lovyngly had succoured hym, when he was readie to 
have famished in the prison for want of meate, yet he could 
not finde in his harte to beare her any countenaunce, consi- 
deryng what he had conceived against her, by the information 
of his brother, (as before you have heard) whiche beyng per- 
ceived by the Duke, moste humbly desiring forgivenesse, he 


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confessed to the Eyng al his mischeef, from the beghinyng to 
the endyng, whereof the Kyng was bothe sorie and glad : sorie, 
for that he had so unnatorallj dealt with so yertnons and 
coarteous a wife, and glad, for that he was so resolved and con- 
firmed in her chastitie, whiche before he had in suspence. 

And now the Turke,for the love that he bare to Aramanthus, 
and for the likyng that he sawe to bee in his daughter towardes 
hym, whom he hjmself had appoincted to bee her spouse, be- 
came indeede to be christened, with all his retinew that was 
aboute hym ; and then restoryng Bodericke againe to the kyng- 
dome of Tolosia, by al consentes, the mariage betweene Ara- 
manthus and Florella was concluded, with great pompe and 
magnificence : and thus the Turke, leayyng this new married 
couple in the citie of Tolosia, departed with his armie into 

The Queene Isabell, not forgettyng the greate goodnesse she 
had received by these outlawes, whiche before had saved her 
life, and with whom her daughter yet remained, so dealt with 
the Eyng her housebande, that thei were altogether sent for, 
and verie joyfully receivyng his dau^^hter, restored the outlawes 
againe to their libertie, bestowyng of them, for recompence, 
roomes, and'offices of credite and estimation. 

Thus, to conclude, every one beyng well contented, thei lived 
together in quietnesse, with many long and happie daies. 


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I^hilotus^ an old and auncimt citizen of Borne, faUeik in lote 
with EmUia, a yimg and beauti/tdl virgin, the daughter of 
Alberto, who hnowyng the wonderfuU wealthe of Phyhtus, 
wotdd haw forced his daughter to have maried hym, but in the 
ende waspretely deceived by Phylemo, the brother of Emdia, 
who maried with Phylotua in hie sisters steade, and other 
pretie actions that fell out by the waie. 

It hath many tymes bin had in question, and yet could never 
be decided, from whence this passion of extreame love doeth 
proceede, whose fane is suche, where it once taketh possession, 
that (as thei saie) love is without lawe, so it maketh the pa- 
cientes to bee as utterly voide of reason ; but, in my opinion, 
the self same thyng, whiche is many tymes shadowed under 
the title of love, maie more properly be termed and called by 
the name of luste : but, be it love, or be it luste, the difference 
is nothyng so muche as the humour that feedes it is wonderfiiU 
straonge, and hath no manor of certaintie in it, exceptyng this, 
it is without parciaUtie ; for commonly, when it driveth us to 
affect, it is doen without any manor of respect, for sometyme 
it maketh us to linger after our frendes, sometyme to languishe 
after our foes ; yea, betweene whom there hath been.had mor- 
tall hostilitie. The sonne hath beene scene to fSsdl in love with 
the wife of his fitther ; the &ther again, m like maner, with 
the wife of his soonne ; the king hath bin attached with the 
poore and needie beggar } yea, and though there have bee# 
many which have seen their owne errour, and there with all 


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have confessed their abuse, yet thei have not bin able to re- 
fraine them selves from prosecntyng their follie to the ende. 
And all be it reason proffereth us sondrie sufficient causes why 
we ought to refraine the appetite of our owne desires, yet 
fancie then is he that striketh suche- a stroke, that reason^s 
rules can naught at all prevaile, and like as those whom love 
hath once intangled, the more thei strive the fiurther thei bee 
tied, so it is unpossible that love should be constrained, where 
affection breedes not likyng, nor &ncie is not fed ; but where 
these two hath once joyned in election, al other affectes be so 
dimme and blinded, that every vice seemeth to us a vertue, 
whereof springeth this proverbe. In love there is no lacke. 
So that, indeede, to saie the truth, if there be any pietie to be 
imputed to this raging love, it is in that it is not parciall, nor 
hath it any respecte of persones, but bee thei frendes, be thei 
foes, be thei riche, be thei poore, be thei young, be thei olde, 
bee thei wise, bee thei foolishe, love is still indifferent, and re- 
specteth all alike. But if any man will thinke that in respecte 
of beautie, we esteeme not all the reste, I am able to saie it is 
not true, consideryng how many have forsaken the better 
likyng, and have chosen the worse ; so that, for my parte, the 
more I consider of it, the more I am amazed, and therefore will 
beate my braines no more aboute it, but leave it to the credite 
of suche as have bin lovers themselves, whose skill in the 
matter I preferre before mine owne, and will come to my His- 
toric of Phylotus, who, beyng an aged man, fell in love with a 
yong maiden, &rre unfittyng to his yeares, and followeth in 
this sorte. 

In the gallant citie of Naples, there was remainyng a yong 
man, called by the name of Alberto. This Alberto beyng 
maried not fully out a yeare, his wife was delivered of a Sonne, 
whom he named Phylemo, and upon divehi considerations, 
mindyng io ckaunge his habit-ation, he prepared hym self to 
^oe dwell at Home ; and first takyng order for his sonne 
Phylemo, who for the tendemesse of his age he left still in. 


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Naples at name, hyiu self, his wife, with all the reste of his 
hoQseholde, came to Rome, where he had not very loDg re- 
mained, but his wife was likewise delivered of a daughter, whom 
he called by the name Emilia, who, as she grewe in yeares, she 
likewise proved to bee very beautiful! and faire. And amongst 
a greate nomber of others, there was dwellyng in Borne an aun- 
cient citizen, whose name was Phylotus, a man very orderly in 
yeares^ and wonderfully aboundyng in goods : this Phylotus, 
havyng many tymes taken the viewe of Emilia, beganne to 
growe very sore in love with her, or rather I maye saie, in his 
olde yeares beganne to doate after this young maiden ; for it can 
not bee properly called love in these olde men, whose. dotage, 
if it were not more then outragious, either their greate discre- 
tion would represse it, or their many yeares would mortifie 
it. But Phylotus, in the ende, desired Emilia of her &ther 
in the waie of mariage. 

Alberto, accordyng to the custome of parentes, that desire 
to marie their daughters, more for goods then for good will < 
betweene the parties, more for lucre then for love, more for 
livyng then for learning, more for wealth then for wit, more for 
honour then for honestie ; and so thei maie have great store of 
money, thei never consider farther of the man. Alberto, in 
like manor, knowyng the wealth wherewith Phylotus was in- 
dued, who had never a childe but one onely daughter, whose ' 
name was BrisiUa, gave his full consent, without any &rther 
consideration of the inequalitie of the yeares that was betweene 
Phylotus and his daughter : he never remembred what strifes, 
what jarres, what debates, what discontentment, what counter- 
faityng, what dissembling, what louryng, what loathyng, what 
never likyng is ever had where there is suche differences be- 
twene the maried; for perfecte love can never bee without 
equalitie, and better were a married couple to continue with- 
out livyng then without love. And what are the occasions that 
make so many women to straie from their housbandes, but 
when thei bee maried to suche as thei cannot like of; but 



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surely, if women did thronghly consider how daungerons it is 
for them to deale with these olde yonthes, I thinke thei would 
bee better advised in medling with them ; for, besides that 
thei be unwildie, lothsome, (and sir reverence of you) very un- 
lovely for you .to lye by, so thei bee commonly inspired with 
the spirite of jelousie, and then thei wille looke to you so nar- 
rowly, and mewe you up so closely, that you will wishe a 
thousande tymes the prieste had bin hanged that maried you^ 
but then to late. 

But to retourne to our historic. Alberto, respecting more 
the wealth of Phylotus then the likyng of his daughter, gave 
his consent to take him for his sonne in lawe, and tolde EmeUa 
how he had disposed on her. Emelia, seeyng what an olde 
babie her father had chosen to be her housebande, moste 
humbly desired hym to give her leave to chouse for herself; 
whereat her father, being very angrie, beganne sharply to rate 
her, saiyng: And arte thou, then, so muche wedded to thine 
owne will, that thou skomest to be directed by me, thy lovyng 
fitther, or thinkest thou that thy wisedome doeth so fiirre sur- 
mount my wit, that thou canst better provide for thyself then 
I, which so careAiUy have hetherto brought thee up! or doth 
the tendere love, or the chargeable cost which I have bestowed 
on thee, deserve no better recompence, then to despise those 
that I would have thee to like of! 

Emelia, fidlyng doune of her knees before her &ther, saied : 
Moste deare and lovyng &ther, moste humbly I beseche you, 
for the affection whiche by nature you beare me, not to thinke 
me so gracelesse a childe, that I would goe aboute to contraty 
you, or stubbornly would refuse what soever you would think 
convenient for my behoofe : and although you shall finde in 
me suche duetie as is meete for a daughter, and all obedience 
that is fit for a childe $ yet, sir, consider the harte, whiche can 
not bee compelled, neither by feare, neither by force, Bor is not 
otherwise to be lured then onely by fimcies free consent And 
as you have bestowed on me this fraile and transitori life so 


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my bodie shall be at jour digposition) as it shall please you to 4 
appoinot it, and I will conclude with this humble petition, de- 
siryng you not to bestowe me of any that is not agreable to 
my &ncie and good likyng. 

Well {(^ her fiither) then see you finme your likyng to like 
well of my likyng. I have promised you to Phylotus in mar- 
riage, and Phylotus is he that shall be your housband : and 
looke you goe not aboute to oontende againste that I have de* 
termined ; if you doe, nerer accompt me for fiither nor frende. 
And thus he departed. 

Emelia, hearyng this cruell conclusion of her &ther, was 
wonderfiilly abashed, and beeyng by herself in her chamber, 
she be^nne to consider of her father^s wordes ; and, for feare 
to incurre any fiurther displeasure, she devised how she might 
frame her self to the likyng of her lover ; and, with a yong 
woman^s minde, she first beganne to consider of his wealth, of 
his callyng, of the reverence wherewith he was used in the 
dtie, and that likewise, in beyng his wife, she should also bee ; 
had in estimation, and bee preferred before other women of 
meaner credite : and to desire superioritie, it is commonly every 
woman's sicknesse, and therefore this could not chouse but 
please her very well. Then she remembred how commodious it < 
were to marrie one so wealthie as Phylotus, wherby she should 
not neede to beate her braines aboute the practising of house- 
wiferie, but should have servauntes at commaundment to sup- 
plie that toume : this likewise pleased her very well ; but be- 
cause she would well perswade herself, she beganne to conjec- 
ture how she should spende the time to her contentment ; and 
therefore she beganne to thinke what a pleasure it was to bee 
well fiimished with sondrie sutes of apparell, that in the 
momyng, when she should rise, she might call for what she 
liste to put on, accordyng as the tyme and the &sshion did 
require, and her fitncie served beste ; for thus Phylotus was 
well able to keepe his wife : and this pleased her likewise very 
well ; and then, when she were up, she might breake her fiuit 

o 2 


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with a cuppe of malmsie or muskadine uexte her harie : it was 
very good for ill ayres in a momyng, and this she thought 
was but an easie matter, and likewise pleased her very well : 
when she had broken her fast, then she might stirre about the 
house, and looke to this, and see to that, and where she found 
anythyng amis, not to touche it with her owne fingers for 
manyng the beautie of her hande, but to call for Gioelie, Jone, 
or Gate, and to chide them like sluttes, that thei could not spie 
a faught but when thei muste be tolde ; this likewise pleased her 
yerie well : then to have provided for dinner some junckettes, 
that served beste her appetite. Her housebande had good store 
of coyne, and how could it be better spent then upon themselves, 
to make their &re the better ! this likewise pleased her verie well. 
Now, when she had dined, then she might go seke out her ex- 
amplers, and to peruse whiche worke would doe beste in a ruffe, 
whiche in a gorget, whiche in a sleeve, whiche in a quaife, whiche 
in a caule, whiche in a handcarcheef ; what lace would doe beste 
to edge it, what seame, what stitche, what cutte, what garde : 
and to sitte her doune and take it forthe by little and little, and 
thus with her nedle to passe the after noone with devising of 
thinges for her owne wearyng ; this likewise pleased her passyng 
well : then to provide for supper some shift of diete, and son- 
drie sauces, the better to helpe the stomacke, oranges, lemons, 
olives, caphers, salades of sondrie sortes : alas ! a croune will 
goe a greate waie in suche trifles ; this likewise pleased her 
verie well : when she had cupped, to use some exercise, ae- 
cordyng to the season ; if it were in sommer, to goe walke with 
her neighbours, to take the aire, or in her garden, to take the 
verdure of swete and pleasaunt flowers ; this likewise pleased 
her verie well : when she was come in, and readie to go to her 
chamber, a cuppe of cold sacke to bedward is verie good for 
digestion, and no coste to speake of, where suche abondance 
doeth remaine ; and this likewise pleased her verie well. 

But now, although she had devised to passe the dale tyme 
with suche contentation, when she remembred at night she 


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must goe to bedde to be lubber leapt, and ^th what cold cour- 
tesie she should be entertaioed by her graie headed bedfelowe, 
what firosen embracementes he was able to bestowe of her, all 
was marde, and quite dashte out of remembraunce, and all the 
commodities, before spoken of, that she should receive in the 
tyme of the daie, would not serve to countervaile that one in- ^' 
commoditie, in the season of the night. Like as we saie, one 
vice spilles a greate noumber of vertues. 

Thus Emelya was now to seeke, and could in no wise frame 
herself to love Philotus ; but when she had flattered herself 
with a thousande delightes that she should receive in the daie 
tyme by his wealth, when she remembred bedd tyme, she was 
newe to beginne as before. Wherefore she remained in greate 
perplexitie, thinkyng her happe to bee over hard, and the com- 
forte verie bare, where the beste choice had duche assuraunce 
of doubtfoll ende. For to marrie after her &ther'*s mynde, she 
knewe would breede her lothed life ; and to gainsaie what he 
had determined would likewise loose her father^s likyng, that 
she wiste not for her life whereon to resolve : and thus from 
daie to daie, as she continued in this doubte, there happened . 
to hit into her companie a yong Bomaine gentleman, whose 
name was Flavins, who sodainly fell in love with Emelia ; and 
iakyng the tyme whilest his opportunitie served, he let Emelia 
to understande of the greate love he bare her. Emelia, ac- 
cordyng to the custome of women, made the matter verie coye 
at the firste, although in her harte she were right gladd, con- 
sideryng her case how it stoode. ' 

Flavins was so muche the more importunate upon her, and 
with suche nice termes, as woers be accustomed, he so courted 
and followed Emilia, that she, perceivyng his fervent affection, 
tolde hym a verie short circumstaunce, how her &ther had 
disposed her to one that she could not like of; and, therefore, 
if he would first promise to take her as his wife, and that he 
could finde suche meanes to conveigh her from her father s 
house in secret sorte (for otherwise she was sure her father 


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would be a let to hinder their purpose) she waB contented to 
harken to his speeche, and yeelde to his demaunde. Flayius, 
the gladdest man in the worlde to heare these joyfbll newes, 
sware unto her that all should bee accomplished, and that with 
as muche speede as herself would desire. 

There was no more to conclude of then, but how she might 
be conveighed from out her &ther^s house. Flavins devised 
that late in an evenjng, or in the night tyme, when every one 
were quiet in their beddes, if she could finde the meanes to get 
forth of doores, then he would bee readie to receive her. But 
that could not bee, for both her &ther and mother never failed 
to bee at home in the evenynges, and at nightes she was lodged 
in her ^stther^s chamber, that it was impossible for her to get 
forthe. So that there was no remedie, but that the feate must 
bee wrought in some after noone, when bothe her &ther and 
mother used to bee abroade about their businesse : and then 
she knewe not how to come forthe alone, because she had not 
been accustomed so to doe ; and to foUowe a stranger, it would 
breede the greater suspition. 

But Flavins, to avoide all these surmises, devised the nexte 
evenyng to conveigh her in, at some backe windowe of her 
father^s house, a sute of mannes apparell, wherin the next dale 
in the aftemoone, her &ther and mother being abroad, she 
should shift herself, and so come her waies, unknowne of any, 
to suche a place, where he himself would be readie awaiting 
for her, and so conveighe her home to his owne house. This 
devise Emelia liked passyng well, and accordyng as it was ap* 
poincted. The nexte evening. Flavins conveighed this sute of 
aparel in at the windowe, where Emelia was readie to receive 
it ; and laiyng it up in safetie till the nexte daie in the after 
noone, her father and her mother beyng bothe forth of dores, 
she quickly shifted herself into this mannes apparell, and thus 
forthe of dores she goes to her appointed place, where Flavius 
was staiyng, who, accordyng to promise, conveighed her home 
to his owne house. 

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This matter was not so closely handeled by Emelia, but she 
espyed by one of her fether^s servauntes, who, beyng on the 
iMUskflide, through a windowe sawe her how she was strippyng 
of herself, and marked how she put on the mannes apparell ; 
whereat the yong fellowe had greate marveile, and stood still, 
beholdyng to see what would fall out in the ende. But when 
he sawe her goe forthe adores, he hasted after into the streates ; 
but Emelia was so sodainly gone, that for his life he wiste not 
whiche waies to seeke after her: wherefore, in a wonderfull 
baste he came to his maister, whom he found in the citie, in 
the companie of Philotus, sayng, sir ! I have verie erill newes ^ 
to tell you. — What is the matter ! (% his maister) is anythyng 
amisse at home! Yea, sir, (i^ the servaunte) your daughter 
Emelia is even now departed into the citie, in the habite of a 
manne, but whiche waies she went, I could not for my life 
devise ; for, after she gat once forthe of the place where she 
shifted her, I could never more set eye of her. 

Is Emelia gone i (q^ her lover, Philotus) Oh God ! what 
evill newes bee these that I heare ! and, without any further 
staye, bothe the lather and the lover gatte theim out at the 
doores together, and abonte the streates thei runne like a couple 
of madde menne. Now, it fell out that Phylemo, the sonne o^^. 
Alberto and brother to Emelia, whom you have heard before, 
was lefte at Naples, beyng an infimt, and had remained there 
till this time at schoole, and at this verie instant was come 
from Naples to Bome to visite his fiither and mother, of whom 
be had no manor of knowledge, otherwise then by their names. 
And it fortuned that Alberto and Phylotus happened to meete *^ 
with Philemo in the streates, who was so like his sister Emilia, 
that bothe Alberto and Phylotus assured themselves that it 
could bee no other but she. Wherefore Alberto, commyng to 
bjm, saied: Staie, staie, moste shamelesse and ungracious 
girle ! dooest thou thinke that by thy diguisyng of thyself in 
this manor, thou canste escape unknowne to me, who am thy 
father J Ah, vile strumpet that thou arte ! wliat punishetnent 


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ifi sufficiente for the filthinesse of thy fiicte! And with this 
he seemed as though he would have flmeupon her in the streate 
to have beate her ; but Phylotus thrnste in betweene theim, ' 
and desired his neighbour to stale hjmself : i^d then, im- 
bracyng Philemo in his armes, he saied, Ah, Emelia, my 
sweete and lovyng wenche, how canste thou so unkindely for- 
sake thy PhilotuB ! whose tender love towardes thee is suehe, 
that as I will not let to make thee soveraigue of myself, so 
thou shalt be dame and ntistres of all that ever I have, assu- 
ryng thee that thou shalt never want for golde, gemmes, 
Jewells, suche as be fit and convenient for thy degree. 

Philemo, seyng a couple of old doating fooles thus clus- 
teryng aboute hym, not knowyng what thei were, bad thought 
at the firste thei had been out of their wittes i but in the ende, 
by their woordes perceivyng a fiirther circumstance in the 
/ matter, he devised somethyng for his owne disporte, to feedo 
them a little with their owne follie, saied. Pardon me, I be- 
seche you, this ^my greevoua offence, wherein I knowe I have 
too &rre straied from the limites and boundes of modestie, pro- 
testyng hereafter so to goveme myself, that there shall be no 
sufficient cause whereby to accuse me of suche unmaidenlike 
partes, and will ever remaine with suche duetie and obedience^ 
as I trust shall not deserve but to be liked duiyng life, 

Pliilotus, havyng heard this pitifiill reconciliation made by 
his Emelia, verie gently 'entreated her father in her behalf. 
Well (<^ her fiither) seeyng you will needes have me to forgive 
this her leudnesse, at your requeste I am contented to pardon 
her ; and then, speakyng to Philemo, he saied : How saie you, 
houswife, is your stomacke yet come doune i are you contented 
to take Philotus for your housebande ! Yea, my good &ther, 
(q^ Philemo) and that with all my harte. Oh, happie newes ! 
(q^ Philotus) and here withall he began to sette his cappe on 
the one side, and to toume up his muschatoes, and feU to 
wipyng of his mouthe, as though he would have falne a kissyng 
of her by and by in the streates ; but remembryng hymself 

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where he was, hee brought Alberto, with Philemo, into a 
fireendes house, that was of his &miliare acquaintance, and 
there the marriage betweene theim was throughlie concluded, 
and all parties semyng to give their full consentes. 

Philotus desired his &ther in lawe that he might have the 
custodie of Emelia, swearjng, by his old honestie, that he 
would not otherwise use her then his owne daughter Brisilla, 
untill the daie of his nuptials, and then to use her as his wife ; 
to whiche request Alberto seemed verie willyngly to give con- 
sent. But then, because Philotus would not carrie his beloved 
through the streates in her mannes apparell, he desired her 
&thir in law to go home, and sonde some suite of her apparell, 
wherewith to shifte her before he would carrie her to his owne 
house. Alberto, seyng matters so throughlie concluded, tooke 
his leave of theim bothe, and goyng his waies home, he caused 
all his daughter's apparell to be looked together, and to be 
sent to the place where Philotus was remainyngwithPhilemo, 
who, takyng forthe suche as should serve the toume for that 
present, Philemo,- so well as he could, arraied hymself in one 
of his sister's suites of apparell, and thus departed with Phi- \y 
lotus to his owne house, where Philotus, callyng his daughter 
Brisilla, he saied unto her : Behold here the partie whom I 
have chosen to be your mother, chargyng you, of my blessyng, 
that you honour, reverence, and obeye her, and with all dili* 
gence that you be attendaunt upon her, and readie at an ynche 
to provide her of anythyng that she shall either want or call 
for. And you, my deare and lovyng Emelia, I doe here ordaine 
and appoint you to bee mistres of this house, and of all that is 
in it, desiryng you to accepte of this, my daughter, to doe you 
service in the daie tyme, and in the night to vouchsafe her for 
your bedfellowe, untill our daie of marris^e bee prefixed, and 
then my self will supplie the roome. Philemo, seyng the 
excellent beautie of Brisilla, wasnothyng sorie to have suche a 
bedfellowe, but thought every hower a daie, till night was 
come, which beyng approched, to bedde thei went, where Phi- 


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lerno did not thinke it his readiest wale to give an j Bodaine 
attempte, but therefore he brake into this disconrse foUowyng. 

My Brisilla, were it not bat that we bee fonnde paiciall in 
the causes of our freendes, bat especially where the canses doe 
touche our parentes, our judgementes be so blinded by affec- 
tion, that we can neither see, nor well oonfesse a manifest 
truthe ; but if matters might be considei^ on, without re- 
spect of persones, with indifference, and aecordyng to the 
truthe and equitie of the cause, I durste then put myself in 
your arbitremente, my Brisilla, and to abide your sentence, 
whereto I doubt not, but you would confesse the prejudice I 
sustaine, it is muche intollerable, and almoste impossible, for a 
yong maide to endure, and the rather, if you would measure 
my condition by your owne estate, who beeyng, as you see, a 
yong maiden like yourself^ and shoidd be thus constrained by 
my frendes to the marriyng of your &ther, whom I doe con- 
fesse to bee worthie of a better wife then myself. But oon- 
sideryng the inequalitie of our yeres, I can not for my life 
frame myself to lore hym, and yet I am forced against my 
will to marie him, and am appoincted to be your mother, that 
am more meete to be your companion and plaie felowe. But 
that affiance whiche I have conceived in your good nature, 
hath made me thus boldly to speak unto you, desiryng but to 
heare your opinion with indifferencie, whether you thinke I 
have good cause to complaine, or naye : and then, peradven- 
ture, I will saie farther unto you, in a matter that doeth con- 
cerue your owne behoofe. 

Brisilla hearyng this pitifull complaint, verie sorowMl in 
her behalfe, saied : Would to God I were as well able to mi- 
nister releef unto your distresse, aecordyng to your owne con- 
tentment, as I am hartely sorie to consider your greef,. and do 
wel perceive the Juste occasion you have to complaine. 

Ah, my Brisilla I said Philemo, I am as hartely sorie in 
your behalfe, and peradventure doe understande something 
whiche yourself dooe not yet kuowe of, which will greeve you 


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bat first, Brisilldf let me aske you this question, 
doe you knowe ray &ther, or naie I 

No, sure (% Brisillft), I have no manor of knowledge of him, 
ofiiiher did I knowe whether you had any father alive, or nay, 
but now by your owne reporte ; and as straunge it was to me 
to heare the woordes whiche my &ther used to me this daie, 
when he brought you home, for that I never understoode 
before that he went aboute a wife. 

Philemo was verie glad to heare these newes, because it 
served so muche the better for his purpose, and therefore saied 
as foUoweth. 

This tale that I minde to tell you (my Brisilla) will seme 
more straunge then ail the reste, and yet assure yourself it is 
nothyng so strange as true, and therefore give eare to that I 
mynde to saie. Doe you not thinke it verie straunge in deede, 
that the one of us should bee made bothe mother and daughter 
to the other, and that our &thers, whiche bee now so diescrepit 
and olde, should bee so overhaled with the furie of their fonde 
and unbrideled affections, that to serve their owne appetites 
thei force not with what clogges of care thei comber us, that 
be their lovyng daughters, but have concluded betwene them 
selves [a orosse marria£;e, and so indeede it maie well be 
tearmed, that will Ml out so overthwarte to our behoofes, who 
beyng now in our yong and tender yeres, and should bothe of 
ufl be made the dearlinges of twoo old menne, that seekee to 
prefene their owne lust before their children'^s love, and mea* 
sure the fierie flames of youth by the dead coales of age, as 
though thei were able with their cold and rare imbracementes 
to delaie the forces of the fleshe, whose flames doeth excead in 
these our greene and tender yeres, and as muche possible for 
us to continue in likyng, as flowers are seen to agree with 
froste. But in plaine tearmes (my Brisilla), and to discipher 
a very troth, it is contracted betweene our aged parentes that 
your father (as you see) should first tsike me to his wife: 
whiche weddyng beeyng once performed, then my father, in 


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like maner, should chalenge you, accordyng as it is concluded 
betweeno them. 

Alas ! (q^ Brisilla) these newes bee straunge in deede, and 
it should seem by your wordes so ftdlie resolved on, that there 
is no hope of redresse to be had in the matter. 

None in the worlde (q^ Philerno) ; but thus betweene our- 
selves, the one of us to comfort the other. 

A colde comforte (q^ Brisilla), we shall finde in that ; but 
oh, pitilesse parentes ! that will preferre your owne pleasures 
with your children'^s paine, your owne Ukyng with you chil- 
dren's loathyng, your owne gaine with your children's greefi», 
your owne sporte with your children's spoUe, your own delight 
with your children's despight. O, how muche more happie 
had it been, that we had never been borne ! 

Alas, my Brisilla ! (c^ Philerno), torment not yourself with 
suche extreame anguishe, for if that would have served for 
redresse the matter had been remedied, and that long sithence. 
But I would to God, my Brisilla, that I were a manne for your 
onely sake, and havyng so good leisure as thus beeyng together 
by ourselves, we would so handle the matter, that our &thers 
should seeke newe wives. 

Alas ! (q^ Brisilla), suche wishes are but waste, and un- 
possible it is that any suche thyng should happen. 

Impossible ! (c^ Philerno.) Naie surely, Brisilla, these is 
nothyng impossible, but I have knowne as greate matters aa 
these have been wrought : doe we not read that the goddesse 
Venus transformed an ivorie image to a lively and perfect 
woman, at the onelie requeste of Pygmalion I Diana likewise 
converted Acteon to a harte; Narcissus for his pride was 
turned to a flower ; Araehne to a spider ; with a greate num- 
ber of others have bin trasformed, some into beastes, some 
into foules, and some into fishes ; but amongst the reste of 
the miracles that have bin wrought by the goddesse, this 
storie falleth out moste meete and fittyng to our purpose. 

There was sometime remaining in the countrey of Phestos 


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a nuuied conple, the honsbande called by the name of Lictus, 
the wife Telethusa, who beyng with childe, was willed by her 
hoasbande, so sone as she should be delivered, if it were not 
a lad, that the childe should presently be slaine. His wife 
beyng deliyered at her appoincted tyme brought forthe a girle, 
and yet, notwithstandyng her housbandes commaundement, 
brought up the childe, makyng her housebande beleeve it was 
a boye, and called it by the name of Iphis, and thus as it 
grew in yeares was apparelled like a lad. And beyng after by 
his father assured to a wife, called by the name of lanthe, a 
young maiden, and the daughter of one Telest, dw.ellyng in 
Dictis, Telethusa, the mother of Iphis, fearyng her deceipt 
would bee knowne, deferred of the marriage daie so long as 
she could, sometymes fainyng tokens of iU successe, some- 
times &ining sicknesse, sometymes one thyng, sometymes 
another; but when all her shiftes were driyen to an ende, and 
the marriage daie at hand, Telethusa commyng to the temple 
of the goddesse Isis, with her heire scattered aboute her eares, 
where before the aulter of Isis she made her humble suppli- 
cations 5 and the gentle goddesse, having compassion, trans- 
formed Iphis to a man. 

Loe here, Brisilla, as greate a matter brought to passe as 
any wee have spoken of yet, and the goddesses bee of as greate 
force and might in these dales as ever thei were in times past : 
we want but the same zeale and &ithe to demauhde it ; and 
sure, in my opinion, if either of us made our request to the 
goddes, who commonly be still assistant to helpe distressed 
wightes, thei would never refuse to graunt our reasonable re- 
questes, and I will adventure on it myself, and that without 
any &rther circumstaunce. — ^And here with all he seemed, 
with many piteous sighes, throwing up his handes to the 
heavens, to mumble forthe many wordes in secrete, as though 
he had been in some greate contemplation, and sodainly, with- 
out any manor of stirryng either of hande or foote, did lye 
still as it had bin a thing immovable, whereat Brisilla beganne 


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for to muse, and in the ende spake to hym ; but Phylemo 
made no maner aunswere, but seemed as though he had bm in 
some trannce, wherewith Briailla began to call, and with her 
arme to shake hym, and Phylemo givyng a piteous sigh, as 
though he had bin awaked sodainly out of some dream, saied : 
O, blessed goddesse Venus! I yeeld thee humble thankes, 
that hast not despised to graunt my request. And then speak- 
yng to Brisilla, he saied : And now, my Brisilla, be of good 
comforte, for the same goddesse whiche has not disdained to 
heare my supplication, will likewise be assistaunt to further 
our farther pretences, as hereafter at our better leisure we 
shall consider of. In the meane tyme receive thy lovyng 
freende, that to daie was appoincted to be thy &ther^s wife, 
but now consecrated by the goddesse to be thy lovyng house- 
bande. And here withall imbrasing Brisilla in his armes, she 
perceived in deede that Emelia was perfectly metamorphosed, 
whiche contented her very well, thinkyng herself a thrisd 
happy woman to light of suche a bedfdlowe. Thus both of 
them, the one pleased very well with the other, they passed 
the tyme, till Phylotus had prepared and nuide all thynges 
readie for his marriage daie, 'and then, callyng his freendes and 
neighbours about hym, to the churche thei goe together, 
where Alberto gave Phylemo his sonne, in the steede of his 
daughter Emelia, to Phylotus for his wife. When all the reste 
of the marriage rites that are to be doen in the churche were 
performed, thei passed forthe the daie with feastyng and greate 
mirthe untill it was night. When the companie beganne to 
breake up, and eveiy one to take his leave, and Phylotus, 
with his bride, were brought into their chamber, where Phy- 
lemo, desiryng the companie to avoide, and makyng &st the 
doore, he saied to Phylotus : There resteth yet a matter to be 
decided betweene you and me, and seyng we be here together 
by ourselves, and that tyme and place doeth &11 out so fit, I 
hold it for the best, that it be presently determined. 

What is the matter then i (c^ Phylotus) : speake boldly, my 


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Emelia, and if there be anything that IiangeB in dispence 
betwene ns, I trust it shall easdy bee brought to a good 

I praie God it male (n Phjlemo), and to reyeale the matter 
in breefe and shorte circumstaance, it is this. You are now 
my hoQsebazide, and I your lawful! wife, and for that I dooe 
knowe the difference in our yeares, yourself being so olde, and 
1 Tery yong, it must needes fall out there will be as greate 
derersitie in our conditions, for age is commonly given to be 
frowarde, testie, and overthwart ; youth, againe, to be firolique, 
pleasaunt, and merrie : and so, likewise, in all our other con- 
ditions wee shall be founde so contrarie and disagreejmp;, that 
it will be impossible for us to like the one of the others 
doynges ; for when I shall seeme to followe my owne humour, 
then it will fidl out to your discontentment ; and you againe, 
to follow that diet which your age doeth constraine, will be 
moste lothsome unto me. Then you, beeyng my housebande, 
will thmke to commaunde me, and I must be obedient to your 
will, but I, beyng your wife, will thinke scome to be con- 
trolde, and will dispose of my self accordj/ng to my owne 
likyng, and then what braules and brabbles will &11 out, it 
were to muche to bee rehearsed ; and thus we shall live neither 
of us bothe in quiet, nor neither of us bothe contented, and 
therefore for the avoidyng of these inoonyeniences I have 
devised this waie : that beyng thus together by our selves we 
will trie by the eares whiche of us shall bee maister, and have 
authoritie to commaunde. If the victorie happen on your side, 
I am contented for ever after to firame myself to your ordi* 
naunce and will as it shall please you to appointe ; if other- 
wise the conquest happen on my side, I will triumph like a 
victor, and will looke to beare such a swaie, that I will not be 
contraried in any thing, what so ever it shall please me to 

Phylotus knowyng not what to make of these speeches, and 
thinkyng the tyme verie long till he had taked his firste 


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friutes, said : Gome, come, my Emelia, lette as goe to bedde; 
where I doubt not but we shall so well agree, that these mat- 
ters will easely bee taken up, without any controrersie suche 
as you have spoken of. 

Never while I live (c^ Phylemo), before I knowe where on 
to resolve, and whether you shall reste at my commaunde- 
ment, or I at yours. 

Why (q^ Phylotus) dooe you speake in earnest! or would 
you looke to commaunde me that am your housebande, to 
whom you ought to use all duetie and obedience ! 

Then were I in good case (% Phylemo), that should bee 
tied to use duetie or obedience to a manne of youryeares, that 
would not let to prescribe us rules of your owne dotage, to be 
observed in steede of domesticall discipline. 

Then I perceive ((^ Phylotus) wee shall have somethyng 
adooe with you hereafter, that will use me with these tearmes 
the verie firste night. But see you make no more to dooe, 
but come on your waies to bedde. 

And I perceive (% Phylemo) the longer that I beare with 
you the more foole I shall finde you : and with this up with 
his fiste, and gave Phylotus a sure wheritte on the eare. Phy* 
lotus in a greate rage flies againe to Phylemo : there was 
betweene them souse for souse, and boxe for boxe, that it was 
harde to judge who should have the victorie. In the ende 
Phylemo gettes Phylotus &ste by the graie bearde, and by 
plaine force pulles hym doune on the flower, and so he pomek 
hym aboute the &ce, that he was like to have been strangled 
with his owne bloud, which gushed out of his nose and mouth* 
Wherefore holdyng up his handes, he cried. Oh, Emilia! 
I yeelde myself vanquished and overcome. For God^s sake 
holde thy handes. and I will never more contende with thee 
duryng life. 

Phylemo staiying hymself, saied : Art thou contented, 
then, to yeeld me the conquest, and hereafter this, accord- 
ing as thou hast said, nevermore to strive with me, never 


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to giunsay anything, what so ever it shall please me to com- 

Never, while I live (% Phylotos) ; and therefore, for God'*s 
sake, let me arise, and chalenge to yourself what superioritie 
you please, whiche for me shall never be denaied so long as I 
shall live. 

Well (cb Phylemo) but before I will let you arise, I will 
hare you promise me to confirme these conditions, which 
folowe in this maner : firste, that at my pleasure I miue goe 
abroade with my freendes, to make merie so often as I liste, 
whither I liste, and with whom I list ; and neither at my 
goyng forthe to be demaunded whither I will, ne at my re- 
tume to bee asked where I have been : I will fSeurther have you 
condescende to this ; that for as muche as I have learned that 
it is not onely verie untothsome, but likewise verie unwhole- 
some, for youth and age to lye sokyng together in one bedde, 
I will therefore make no bedfellowe of you but at my owne 
pleasure, and in maner as followeth, that is to saie : this first 
yere I shall be contented to bestowe one night in a moneth to 
doe you pleasure, if I male see you worthie of it, or that you 
be able to deserve it ; but the first yere beyng once expired, 
fower tymes a yere male very well suffice, that is one night a 
quarter, as it shall please myself to appoinct. There be many 
other matters whiche I will not now stande to repeate, but 
these before rehearsed be the principall thynges wherein I wil 
not bee controlde, but meane to foUowe myne owne likyng. 
How saie you, Phylotus? can you bee contented to ^me 
yourself herein, to followe my direction? 

Alas ! (% Phylotus) I see no other shifte : I must perforce 
endeavour myself patiently to abide what soever it shall please 
you to commaunde ; and doe yeeld myself as recreant and 
overcome, and wholy doe put myself to your &vour and 
mercie, readie to receive whatsoever it shall please you to 
awarde unto me. 

Phylerno, letting hym now arise, saied : Prepare yourself 



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then to goe to your bedde, and anon, at myae o;nii leasore, I 
will come unto you, and departe againe at myne owne pleasure, 
when I shall see tyme. 

Phylotns, eomfortyng hymself with these swete speeches, 
did thinke it yet to be some parte of amendes that she had 
promised to come and visite hym, went quietly to his bedde, 
there to abide the good hower till Emelia did come. 

Phylemo havyng prepared one of these marcenarie women 
(whereof there are greate store in Rome to bee had) con- 
veighed her to the bedd of Phylotus, givyng her enstmctions 
how to use herself, and went himself to his beste beloved Bri- 
silla, whom he had made privie to his whole devise, and in 
this manor it was agreed betwene them : thei had thought to 
have dieted Phylotus once a moneth with some cast stuffe, 
N^' . suche as thei could hire best cheape in the toune. 
{K^f^ s But it fell out that Flavius, whom you have heard before had 
stolne awaie Emelia, beyng at the churche the same daie thafc 
Phylotus was maried, and saw Alberto give his daughter 
Emelia to Phylotus for his wife, had thought assuredly that 
hymself had been deceived by some devill or spirite, that had 
taken upon hym the likenesse of Emelia : and therefore, hast- 
yng hymself home with all possible speede, came to Emelia, 
and blessyng hymself, he saied. I charge thee, in the name 
of the livyng God, that thou tell me what thou art, and that 
thou presently departe to the place from whence thou earnest : 
and I conjure thee, in the name of the holie Trinitie, by our 
blessed ladie Yirgine Marie, by aungels and archaungles, 
patriarkes and prophetes, by the Apostles and fewer Evan- 
gelistes, Matthew, Marke, Luke and Jhon, by all the holie 
martyres and confessours, and the reste of the rable and 
blessed route of heaven, that thou quietly departe without any 
manor of prejudice either to manne, woman, or childe, either 
to any maner of beaste that is uppon the &ce of the earth, 
the foules of the ayre, or the fishes in the sea, and without 
any maner of tempest, storme, whirlewinde, thunder or 


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lightnyng, and that thoa take no maner of shape that maie 
seeme either terrible or fearful! unto me. 

Emriia hearyng these woordee, meryeilvng muohe what 
thei ment, with a smilyng conntenaunce came towardes Fla- 
▼ins, saijng: Whj how now, Seignior Flayias ! what, doe you 
thinke me to bee some devill, or any hagge of hell, that you 
tsJl to eonjniyng, and blessyng of yourself ! 

I charge thee come no nere ((| Flavins) : stande backe, for 
these inticementes can no longer abuse me. When I have seen 
with myne eyes my beloved Emelia maried in the churche, 
and given by Alberto, her father, to Phylotus for his wife, 
what should I thinke of thee but to be some feende, or sent 
anto me by some inchauntement or witchcrafte ! and there- 
fore I will no longer neither of thy compainie, neither of thy 
conference. And herewithall takyng Emelia by the shoulders 
he thrust her forthe of doores, and shuttyng the doore after 
her, he gat hym to his chamber, where he fell to his praiers, 
thinkyng assuredly that Emelia had been some spirite. But 
Emelia, afl;er slie had a three or fewer daies made what 
meanee she could to Flavins, and sawe it was in vaine, was 
driven to goe to her &ther, before whom fUlyng upon her^ 
knees, she desired hym moste humbly to forgive her, Al- 
berto takyng her up in his armes, saied, that he knewe no- 
thyng wherein she had offended hym, but her suite might 
easily be graunted. 

Deare &ther (% Emelia) I knowe 1 have offended, and so 
fiurre as my facte deserveth, rather to be punished then pitied ; 
the 'remembraunoe whereof is so lothsome unto me, that I 
fieare to call you by the name of father, having shewed myself 
80 unworthie a dau^ter. These wordes she pronounced witlw 
such sorrowe that the teares streamed doune her cheekes, 
wherewith Alberto, moved ^ith naturall affection, saied : 
Deare child, I knowe no such offence that ought to be, so 
greevously taken ; but speake boldly — whatsoever it be, I 
freely forgive it. 

p 2 


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Emelia, verie well comforted with these speeches, began to 
discourse how she firste disguised herself in pager's apparel, 
and what greef it was to her conscience that she should so 
&rr straie from the duetie and obedience of a childe, and to 
become a fugitive in a mannes apparell. But her &ther not 
sufieryng her further to proceede in her tale, saied: Ahis! 
deare daughter, if this bee the matter, it is long agoe sithe I 
have bothe forgiven and forgotten these causes, and therefore 
let these thynges never trouble you. But tell me now, how 
doe you like of your bedfellowe, how agree you with him, or 
he with you, I would be glad to knowe i 

A.las ! deare &ther (q^ Emelia) that is the matter that I 
come to you : he hath turned me awiue, and wil no longer 
take me for his wife ; and what is the cause that hath moved 
hym unto it, I protest before God I knowe not for my life. 

Hath he turned thee awaie ? (% Alberto) myself wil quickly 
finde a remedie for that matter : and without any more to do 
would not tarry so much as while his goune was a brushyng, 
but out of doores he goes towards Phylotus, whom by chaunce 
he met withall in the streates, and in greate chafe begins to 
chalenge hym for abusyng of his daughter, swearyng that he 
would make all Borne to speake of his abuse, if he ment to 
proceede in that he had begunne. 

Phylotus, wonderyng to see the man in suche an agonie, 
beganne to wishe that he had never scene hym nor his daugh- 
ter neither, and that, if any bodie have cause to complaine, it 
is T (c^ Phylotus) that have married suche a wife, that is more 
like to a devill then a woman ; and I perceive now is maiuT* 
tained in her mischiefe by you, that are her iather, who ought 
rather to rebuke her then so to take her part, and to incourage 
her in her leudenesse. 

What incouragment is this you speake of! (^ Alberto) I 
knowe not what you meane by these wordes ; but assure your- 
self of this, that as I will not maintaine my child in anything 
that is evill, so I wiU not see her take a manifest wrong. 


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Doe you thinke this to be good, then (% Phylotus), that 
your daughter should bestowe suche hansell on her house- 
ba&de as she^liath all readie bestowed upon me? and then, 
poin^^g to his fiice, he said, See here your daughter's handie 
woorke : how thinke you, is this requisite to be borne with 
aU, that you stande so muche in your daughter's defence ! 

Alberto, sdeyng his fiice all swolne, and the skinne scratched 
o^ perceiyed that Phylotus was at a fraie, and had good 
eanse to oomplaine, and, wonderyng that his daughter was so 
sodainly become a shrewe, said : If this bee my daughter's 
handie woorke, I can neither beare withall, neithei>will I al- 
lowe it in her so to use her housebande ; and therefore, I praie 
you, lette me heare the matter debated betweene you, and I 
doubte not but to take such order, as there shall no more any 
suche rule happen betweene you. 

I am contented you shall debate what you will (c^ Phylotus) 
so it maie be doen with quietnesse ; but I will never more con- 
imde with her for the masterie while I live : she hath alreadie 
wonne it — I am contented she shall weare it. 

I prsue you then (c^ Alberto) that you will goe home to 
your owne house, and I will goe fetche my daughter, and will 
oome unto you straightwaie ; and I doubt not but to take suche 
order betweene you as shall Ml out to bothe your likynges. 

I praie God you maie (% Philotus) and I will goe home, 
and there will staie your commyng. 

Alberto likewise went to his owne house, and callyng Emelia, 
said never a woorde unto her, but willed her to followe hym ; 
and commjmg to the house of Philotus, whom he founde 
within, tarriyng his commyng ; and by fortune, at the same 
instant, Philemo and Brisilla bothe were gone into the tonne 
to buye certaine thynges that thei had neede of. And Alberto 
beginning first to rebuke his daughter, that would seme in 
suche manor to abuse her houseband, and with a long dis- 
course he preached unto her, with what duetie and obedience 
women ought to use their housebandes withall, and not to 


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take upon them, like maisters, to correct and chastice them. 
Emelia denaied not only the fiict, but alfio she denued Phi- 
lotus to be her housebande. 

What have wee here to doe i (c^ her father) how caost thou 
(shamelesse qneane) denaye that whiche within these fower 
daies was performed in the &ce of the whole worlde ! 

Emelia, standing stiffe to her tackelyng, would in nowise 
confesse that ever she was married. 

Then her &ther began to charge her with her owne words 
which she had used to hym before ; how she had disguised her- 
self in man^s apparell, and so stole awaie forthe of dores, tho 
whiche Emelia never denaied. Why then (^ her father) did 
not I meete thee in the streates, and at the request of thy 
housebande, here present, did foigive thee thy jGeuiH, to whom 
I then delivered thee, and with whom thou hast ever sithenoe 
remained i 

Emelia made flatte deniall of any of all these saiynges to 
bee true. Alberto, in a greate fiirie, would have taken wit- 
nesse of Philotus in the matter ; but Philotus, fearyng an 
other banquet at night when he should goe to bedde, durste 
not in any wise seeme to contrary Emelia. In the ende, after 
greate fendyng and provyng had in the matter, Emelia, from 
poincte to poincte, discoursed to her &ther, how she firste fell 
into the likyng of Flavins, and by his practise so conveighed 
herself awaie in his page's apparell, and had with hym re- 
mained all this while, till now he had toumed her awaie. 

Her &ther would in no wise allowe this tale to be true ; but 
Flavins beeyng well knowne to bee a courteous gentleman, 
Alberto devised to sonde for hym, who presently, at his gentle 
intreatie, came to the house of Philotus, where he spared not 
to confesse a truthe, that onely for the love that he bare to 
Emelia he devised to steale her awaie ; and there came one 
unto him in the likenesse of Emelia, and in the same apparell 
that he had provided for her, whom he verie charely kepte, 
uutill suche tyme as he sawe with his owne eyes that Emelia 


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was married in the ohurche to Philotns, and then assniyng 
hym self that he had been deeeiyed by some spirite that had 
taken upon hym the similitude and likenesse of Emelia, he 
presentlie came home and toumed her awaie, and what was 
become of her he could never leame. 

Alberto, muche amazed to heare this tale, said : Senior 
Flavins, dooe you knowe your Emelia againe if you see her ! 
And tken poinctyng to his daughter, he said : Is not this 
the same Emelia that you speake of, whiche you have toumed . 

I knowe not (q^ Flavins) the one from the other, but sure I 
sawe with myne eyes twoo Emelias so like, that the one of 
them of force must needes bee the devill. 

There is no question (c^ Philotus) but that is my wife : if 
there bee ever a devill of theim bothe, I knowe it is she. Out, 
alas ! that ever I was borne. What shall I now dooe ! I 
knowe I have married a devill. 

And by fortune, as Alberto chaunced to look forthe of the 
windowe, he espied Philemo and Brisilla in the streate com- 
myng homewardes. Peace ! (c^ Alberto) here commeth the 
other Emelia : wee shall now trie whiche of theim is the devill 
(I thinke) before we departe. 

By this Philemo was come in, and hearing how matters 
had been debated, and were ialne out, againe knowing Alberto 
to be his father, and what prejudice his sister Emelia was 
like to sustaine if she should be forsaken by her freende and^ 
lover. Flavins, confessed the whole matter, humbly desiryng 
his father to forgive hym. 

When he had a while wondered at the circumstaunce, and 
the truthe of every thing laid open and come to light, all 
psu-ties were well pleased and contented, savyng Philotus : for 
when he remembered, first, the losse of his love, Emelia, 
then how Philemo had beaten him, what a bedfellowe he 
had provided hym, while he hymself went and laie with his 
daughter, these thynges putte all together made hym in 


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8uche a chafe, that he was like to run out of his wittes. Bat 
when he had raged a good while, and sawe how little helpe it 
did prevaile hym, he was contented, in the ende, that his 
daughter Brisilla should marrie with Philemo, and Flayius 
yerie joyAilly received againe his Emelia (when he knewe she 
was no devill) and bothe the marriages consumat in one day. 
And so I praie Otod give them joye, and every old dotarde so 
good successe as had Philotus. 


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Gentle reader, now thon hast perused these histories to the 
ende, I doubte not but thou wilte deeme of them as thei wor- 
thely deserve, and thinke suche vanities more fitter to bee pre- 
sented on a stage (as some of theim have been) then to bee 
published in printe, (as till now they have never been) but to 
excuse myself of the foUie that here might bee imputed unto 
me, that my self beyng the first that have put them to the 
print, should likewise be the first that should condemne them 
as vaine. For mine owne excuse herein I aunswere, that in the 
writyng of them I have used the same manor that many of our 
yong gentlemen useth now adaies in the wearing of their ap- 
parell, which is rather to foUowe a fiishion that is newe, bee it 
never so foolishe, then to bee tied to a more decent custome, 
that is cleane out of use ; sometyme wearyng their haire firee- 
seled so long, that makes theim looke like a water spaniell ; 
sometymes so shorte, like a newe shome sheepe ; their beardes 
sometymes cutte rounde, like a Philippes doler, sometymes 
square, like the kynges hedde in Fishstreate ; sometymes so 
neare the skinne, that a manne might judge by his face the 
gentleman had had verie pilde lucke : their cappes and hattes 
Bometjmes so bigge, as will hold more witte then three of them 
have in their heddes ; sometymes so little, that it will hold no 
witte at all: their rufies sometimes so huge, as shall hang 
abottte their neckes like a carte wheele ; sometymes a little 
&llyng bande, that makes theim looke like one of the queen^s 
silkewomen : their clokes sometymes so long, as it shall trippe 
on their heeles, sometymes so shorte, as will not hang over 
their elbowes : their jerkinnes sometymes with hye collors, 
buttoned close under their chinne ; sometymes with no collars 
at all aboute their neckes, like a wenche in a redde wastcoate 


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that were washyng of a bncke ; sometymes with long, sausie 
sleeves, that will be in every dishe before his maister ; some- 
tymes without sleeves, like Scogins manne, that used to run of 
sleevelesse errandes : their dublettes sometyme fikggotte wasted 
above the navill ; sometymes cowebeallied belowe the flanckes, 
that the gentleman must undoe a button when he goes to pisse. 

In their hoose so many fashions as I can not describe ; some- 
tymes garragascoynes, breached like a beare ; sometymes close 
to the docke, like the devill in a plaie (wantyng but a taile) ; 
sometymes rounde, like to Saincte Thomas onions : sometymes 
petite ruffes, of twoo ynehes long, with a close stockyng cleane 
aboute the nocke of his taile ; sometymes disguisyng theim- 
selvee after the use of Spaine, sometymes after the Italian 
manor ; and many tymee thei imitate the Frenche &shion so 
neare, that all their haire is readie to &11 of their heddes. 

Now I am sure, if any of tfaeim were asked why he used 
snche variotie in his apparell, he would aunswere, because he 
would followe the &shion. Lette this, then, suffice likewise 
for myne excuse; that myself, seeyng trifles of no accoumpt to 
be now best in season, and suche vanities more desired then 
matters of better purpose, and the greatest parte of our writers 
still busied with the like, so I have put forthe this booke, be- 
cause I would followe the fashion. 

And nowe, freendlie reader, because I have entred thus farre 
to speake of fashions, I will conclude with a tale that maketh 
somethyng for my purpose. I have read it so long agoe, that' 
I cannot tell you where, nor the matter is not greate, though 
I doe not tell you when. But in Englande (as I think) and, 
as it should seme, nere aboute London, there was sometymes 
dwellyng a gentleman, though not of verie greate wealth, yet 
of a verie honest life, and of good reporte emongest his neigh- 
bours, whose name was Maister Persinus. This gentilman 
had a daughter, whose name was Mildred, aboute the age of 
eighteeneyeres, of a singulare beautie, verie well tcftined^up by 
her owne mother, who was likewise living, and with whom she 

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now remamed. It forioned that a devil of hell, called Bal- 
thaser ; no inferiour devill, bat a maister deyill, a principall 
officer and oommaimder in helle ; and troste me, if there were 
eyer a deyill that was an honeste manne, Balthaser was he, 
Bayyng that, beyng now an auncient devill, and well spente in 
yeres, he beganne to waxe wanton, and to doate in the love of 
Mistres Mildred ; bnt yet not like our greatest parte of lovers 
now a daies, that still practise their loves unlawftilly, more for 
luste then for loyaltie. But Balthaser, contrariwise, bare his 
love honestlie, lawfollie, yea, and in the waie of marriage, the 
whiche to bryng to passe, he toke snche continnall care and 
travaile in his mynde, that he now confessed the fire of helle 
to bee but a trifle, in respecte of the scorchyng flames of love ; 
Bometymes conjeeturyng in his minde what bashfulnesse is 
founde to bee in yong damselles in these daies, but especially 
when a manne comes to proffer them love, they are so shame- 
fast, that with a good wil thei would never heare of marriage 
till thei were thirtie yeres old at the leaste ; and many of theiro, 
if it were not for menne, I thinke, could bee well contented to 
leade apes in hell : other whiles he remembered the greedie de- 
sire that is generallie in parentes, who never consente to the 
marriyng of their faire daughters without some greate joynter. 
Now, the devill had no landes, and, therefore, to finde the beste 
remedie he could, thei saie the devill is able to put uppon hym 
all manor of shapes 5 so he tooke upon hym the presence and 
personage of so gallant a yong gentleman, as fitted so well the 
fimcie of Mistres Mildred, that, without any long circumstance, 
she was contented to accept hym for her housebande: the 
whiche beeyng perceived by her &ther and mother, not mindyng 
to contrarie their daughter's likyng, gave their free consentee. 
There was no more to dooe, but to appoincte for their marriyng 
dale, the whiche beeyng once expired, the devil, sittjmg by his 
beste beloved, uttered these wordes, or suche like as foUowetb. 
My good Mildred, my deare and lovyng wife, I muste con- 
fesse myself not a little beholdyng unto you, that, neither 


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examinyng my petigree, from whence I came, neither yet how 
I am able to kepe you, would, notwithstandyng, vouchsafe to 
take me for your housebande, I muste thinke your courteeie 
proceaded of love, and doe accoumpte myself so mnche the 
more beholdyng unto you. And now to give you some triall 
that you have not made your choice of a rascall, or a knave of 
no reputation, I am contented to give you one demaunde, what- 
soever you thinke beste to require of me ; and therefore, my 
deare, aske what you liste, your desire shalbee satisfied, alwaies 
provided that hereafter you never trouble me with any &rther 

The yong wife, wonderfully well contented with these lovyng 
speeches of her courteous housebande, desired of hym a little 
pause and respite : and now, commyng to her mother, to whom 
she unfolded the whole contentes of the premises, sittyng theim 
doune together to consider of the matter, after a greate nom- 
ber of consultations, and as many imaginations had betwene 
them, in the ende thei concluded that her request should bee 
for a sute of apparell of a gallaunt fashion, but even then newlie 
come up: and, commyng to her housebande with this de- 
maunde, thei had therr wishe presently accomplished, and this 
sute of apparell laied by them, so well made and fitted as pos- 
sibly could bee desired. 

Thus all parties were well pleased: thei continued in good 
likyng for the space of one moneth, at whiche tyme an other 
newe &shion was then come up, as well in the attiryng of their 
heddes, as also in the makyng of their gounes, kirtells, and 
stomachers. Mistres Mildred, beyng now quite out of con- 
ceit, for that she had never a goune to putte on her backe 
but of a stale cutte, and the fashion at the leaste of a 
monethe olde, who would blame the gentlewoman, though she 
tooke it very grievously. Alas ! her minde was so fiu* out of 
quiet, that her meate almoste did her no manor of good : 
whiche sodaine alteration beyng perceived by her houseband, 
he beganne to intrete her to shewe hym the cause of her con- 
ceived greef ; the whiche when she had reveiled, the good honest 


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devill her houseband saied: Well, my deare wife, although 
when I satisfied your last demaunde, my conditions were that 
you should never trouble me with any ftrther requestes, yet, 
onoe againe to recomforte you, aske of me what you will, I will 
graunte your desire ; but, to cutte you of all hope that here- 
after this I wil never be troubled again with newe fashions, 
assure yourself that this is the last request that ever I minde 
to graunt you. 

Mistres Mildred, givyng hym twentie kisses for his kind- 
nesse, went again to her mother with these joyfiill newes, and, 
concluding as before, thei brought the devill an invontorie of 
newe &shions, beginning with cappes, caules, quayves, ruffes, 
partlettes, sleeves, gounes, kirtelles, peticotes ; and there was 
no stitche, no outte, no lace, no garde, nor no &shion that was 
then in use, but in this inventorie it was to bee founde : and 
as before, this bill was no sooner presented, but all thinges 
were in readinesse, so well fitted and fashioned, as if the moste 
cunnyngest workemen in Englande had been at the makyng. 
But what should I sale ? Before another moneth was expired, 
there was a newe invention ; for then came up newe &shions 
in their caps, in their hattes, in their caules, newe fashioned 
shadowes ; then came up periwigges, frizelyng, and curlyng ; 
then came up dublettes, bombastyng, and bolsteryng ; newe 
fiuhions in their gounes, kirtelles, and peticotes ; then thei be- 
gan to weare crimsin, carnation, greene and yellowe stockynges : 
to bee shorte, there was suche alteration in women^s apparell, 
from the top to the toe, in a moneth, that Mistres Mildred 
thought herself now againe to bee deane out of fashion, the 
remembraunce whereof brought her likewise to be quite out of 
countenaunce. But when she remembered how she was prohi- 
bited irom makyng any further demaundes, it did so gaule her 
at the harte, that now she beganne to froune, lumpe, and lowre 
at her housebande, whiohe when he perceived, he saied unto 
her: Why, how now, my good Mildred! I feare me thy 
hedde is troubled againe with newe fiushions. From whence 
commeth these 'sodaine fittes! What is the matter that 


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breedeth snehe alteration in thy maners! Tell me, I praie 
thee, what is it that doeth offende thee I 

The poore gentlewoman, not able to Bpeake one woorde for 
weepyng, at the laste, burstyng out into these tearmes, if (c^ 
she) I had made my choise of a'housbande worthie of myself, 
I should never have given hym cause thus to wonder at met, 
nor myself have had occasion to complaine for suche a trifle, 
for that I might have doen as other women doe, and Kave fol- 
lowed every fiwhion and every newe devise, without either 
grudgyng, or restraint of my desire : I should not then have 
been injoyned to suche* a kind of silence, but I might-have 
made my housebande privie to my wantes : I should not "then 
have bin kept, like Jone of the countrey, in a tyrebf the dlde 
fassion, devised a moneth agoe. 

While Mistres Mildred was proceeding in these speedies, or 
suche other like, the devill her housebande was stroke in suche 
a dumpe, that, not able any longer to indure her talke, he not 
onely avoided hymself from her presence, but also devised with 
speede to flie the countrey ^ and commyng to Dover, thinkyng 
to crosse the seas, findyng no shippyng readie, he altered his 
course, and gat hym into Scotlande, never staiyng till he came 
to Edenbrough, where the kyng kept his court. And now, 
forgettyng all humanitie, whiche he had learned before in 
Englande, he began againe a freshe to plaie the devill, and so 
possessed the King of Scots himself wiih such straunge and 
unacquainted passions, that, by the conjecture of phisitions 
and other learned men, that were then assembled together to 
judge the kynges diseases, thei al concluded that it must 
needes bee some feende of hell that so disturbde their prince. 
Whereupon, proclamations were presently sent forthe, that who- 
soever could give releef should have a thousand crounes by the 
yere, so long as he did live. The desire of these crounes caused 
many to attempt the matter, but the fiirie of the devill was 
suche, that no man could prevaile. 

Now, it fortuned that Persinus, the &ther of Mistres Mil- 
dred, at this present to be at Edenbrough, who, by constrainte 


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of some extremitie, was now compelled to practise phisicke, 
wherein he had some pretie sight ; but therewithal! so good 
successe, that who but Persinus, the English phisition, had al 
the name through the whole realme of Scotlande. The fame 
of this phisition came to the hearyng of the kyng, who, sendyng 
for Persinus, began to debate wiUi hym of the straongnesse of 
his fittes, profferyng large sommes of money if he ooulde finde 
a remedie : to whom Persinus answered, that it passed farre 
his skill. The kyng, notwithstandyng, would not give over, 
but intreated Persinus to take in hande the cure ; whiche when 
he still denaied, did thinke it rather proceeded of stubbornesse 
then for want of experience, wherefore he began to threaten 
hym, swearyng, that if he would not accomplishe his request, 
it should cost hym his life. 

Persinus, seeyng hymself so hardly besteade, was contented 
to trie some part of his cunnyng; and the next daie, when the 
kyng was in his fitte, he was brought in to see the maner how 
it helde hym. Whom the devill perceivyng to come in at the 
doore, speaking to Persinus, he saied in this maner. 

My father Persinus, I am glad I see you here. But what 
winde hath driven you hether to this place ! 

Why, what arte thou, (q^ Persinus) that callest me thy 

Marie, (q^ the devill) I am Balthaser, that was once maried 
to your daughter ; in deede, a devill of hell, though you never 
knewe it before, whom your daughter weried so muche with 
her newe &shions, as I had rather be in hell then married to 
Buche a wife. 

And arte thou, then, Balthaser? (^ Persinus) why, then, I 
praie thee, good sonne, departe the Kyng of Scots ; for he 
hath threatned me, for thy cause, to take awaie my life. 

Marie, (^ Balthaser) even so I would have it : it were some 
parte of aquitaunce for your daughter's kindnesse towaides me. 

Persinus, seyng the disposition of the devill, thought it not 
good to deale any farther with hym at that present ; but after- 
warde, when the kyn^ was come to hymself, he requested of 



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hym bat respite for one moneth ; and against the daie that he 
should then take him in hande againe, he devised with the 
king that all the ordnaunce in the tonne might be shot of, an 
the belles in the towne might be rong, and that all the trum- 
pets, druinmes, and all maner of other instroments, might alto- 
gether sounde about the court and lodging of the King. 

These thynges beyng accordingly prepared, and the daie 
come that was assigned, Persinus being with the King at the 
beginning of his fit, accordyng as it was appointed, the ord- 
naunce was shot of, the belles began to ring, musitions played 
on eveiy side : at whiche sodaine noyse, the devill beganne to 
wonder, and callyng to Persinus, he saied : Why, how now, 
&ther, what meaneth all this noyse ! 

Why, (^ Persinus) doest thou not knowe the meanyng ! 
then, I perceive, devilles dooe not knowe all : but, because thou 
must be acquainted with it, I will tell thee afore hande. The 
laste tyme I talked with thee, thou toldest me thou hadst 
married my daughter ; and thy tokens were so true, that I am 
sure thou didst not lye ; for which cause, knowing where thy 
bidyng is, I have sent for her to the towne, and this noyse that 
thou hearest is her welcome to the courte. 

And is my wife, then, come hether to seeke me out ! {(^ the 
devill) then I shall sure to be troubled with new fashions. 
Naie, then, farewell, Scotland ; for I had rather goe to hell. 
And thus leavyug the kyng, he departed his waie. 

Now to conclude. If a sillie woman were able to wearie the 
devill, that troubled hym with newe fashions but once in a 
moneth, I thinke- God himself will be wearied with the out- 
rages of men, that are busied with new &ngles at the least 
once a daie. I can no more; but wishe that gentlemen, 
leavyng suche sup^ciall follies, would rather indevour them- 
selves in other exercises, that might be much more beneficiall 
to their countrey, and a greate deale better to then* owne repu- 
tation : and thus an ende. 



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The Council of the Shakespeare Society desire it to be understood 
that they are not answerable for any opinions or observations that 
may appear in the Society's publications ; the Editors of the several 
^orks being alone responsible for the same. 


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The ensuing tract is reprinted froni the earliest im* 
pression, an edition of extreme rarity, and we have com- 
pared it with sabseqaent copies in 1592^ 1593, and 

1595, the two last of which are of more frequent occur- 
rence, though all difficult to be procured. The author, 
in one of his subsequent works, (" Have with you to 
Saffron Walden,") informs us that his " Pierce Penni- 
less" had been six times printed between 1592 and 

1596, but we have not been able to meet with more 
than five impressions of those years. Its popularity 
was extraordinary. 

Many years ago, Mr. Octavius Gilchrist, whose know- 
ledge of such matters was great, and whose taste 
and judgment were good, issued a prospectus for a 
reprint of " Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the 
Devil ;" but his proposal (never carried into effect) was 
to adopt the text of the second, and not of the first edi- 
tion, which, probably, he could not obtain. The dif- 
ferences are trifling, in no case (the preliminary matter 
excepted) more than verbal, but, having the earliest im- 
pression in our hands, we have thought it expedient to 


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take that as our original, comparing it as we proceeded 
with later copies : to any subsequent to 1595, it was 
not necessary to resort. 

This reprint, on seyeral accounts, comes peculiarly 
within the prorince of the Shakespeare Society. It 
contains the earliest defence of theatres and theatrical 
performances and actors, (with the exception of Lodge's 
tract, in answer to Gosson's " School of Abuse ") 
and in its pages are found those two yery curious no- 
tices of historical plays, which Shakespeare is supposed 
to haye seen, if not to haye employed. ** How would 
it haye joyed brave Talbot," (exclaims Nash, p. 60 of our 
reprint) ^* the terror of the French, to think that after 
he had lain two hundred year in his tomb, he should 
triumph again on the stage, and have his bones new em- 
balmed with the teares of ten thousand spectators at 
least, (at several times) who, in the tragedian that re- 
presents his person, imagine ^hey behold him fresh 
bleeding." This passage is believed to refer to a lost 
play, of which Shakespeare made use in his ** Henry 
VI." Part I. ; and it establishes the great popularity of 
the subject, because, at the date referred to, it is pro- 
bable that none of our public theatres would contain 
more than about four or five hundred persons: thus, 
the drama must have been represented at least twenty 
times before crowded audiences, in order to make 
up the number of ^' ten thousand spectators." Ano- 
ther passage, which will be read with interest, in re- 
lation to the works of our great dramatist, is the fol- 
lowing : — " What a glorious thing it is to have Henry 
the Fifth represented on the stage, leading the French 


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king prisoner, and forcing both him and the dauphin to 
swear fealty !" We know of no existing play in which 
precisely sach scenes are contained, and we may, there- 
fore, conclude that our old stage was in possession of 
three dramas founded upon the eyents of the reign of 
Henry V., viz. that described by Nash ; " The Famous 
Victories of Henry the Fifth," first printed in 1598, and 
Shakespeare's historical play. 

Another circumstance connected with the name of 
Shakespeare renders Nash's '^ Pierce Penniless " espe- 
cially interesting. We find, in a poem near the com- 
mencement of it, two lines, which are also contained 
yerbatim in a drama, printed in 1608, with ^'written by 
W. Shakspeare" on the title-page, and reprinted in 1619) 
subsequently included in the third folio impression of his 
works in 1664. The internal eyidence that he had some 
concern in the production of it seems at least as strong 
as the external, for " The Yorkshire Tragedy" comprises 
lines which could scarcely haye proceeded from any other 
pen. How the couplet 

" Divines and dying men may talk of hell. 
Bat in my heart her several torments dwell/' 

came to be borrowed from Nash, and inserted in " Tlie 
Yorkshire Tragedy," it is, perhaps, yain to speculate. 
It was a short drama, got up in a hurry on a melancholy 
incident, of then recent occurrence, and possibly the 
lines we haye quoted were in the mind of the writer of 
" The Yorkshire Tragedy," and were transferred to the 
play, because they could be so conyeniently and appo- 
sitely introduced. 

But, besides these peculiar and especial claims to the 


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attention of all who are interested in whatever relates 
to Shakespeare and his productions, " Pierce Penniless" 
is a very singular, highly finished, and, in many respects^ 
amusing picture of the manners of the times when it was 
written. Some of the descriptions of persons and hahits 
of different grades of society have remarkable force, and 
obvious fidelity, and carry with them the conviction, that 
little is to be allowed even for the exaggerations of a poet. 
If ash was a young man who had mixed in most of the 
scenes he paints ; and his style is unusually pure and 
free from those inflations and bombastic expressions, 
which, as we read, induce a doubt as to the truth and 
accuracy of the representations of which they form a 
part. His eloquence is natural and flowing ; and although 
now and then we meet with what may be looked upon as 
a trifling affectation of scholastic learning, yet compared 
with many, if not most, of his scribbling contemporaries^ 
he is very free from this defect : his writings are gene- 
/ rally to be regarded as models of choice, nervous, and 
idiomatic English. If not the best, he was certainly 
one of the best prose authors of the period in which he 
flourished. As a vigorous, pungent, and bitterly sati- 
rical writer, it may be doubted whether he ever had his 
equal in our language. 

At the time when he produced " Pierce Penniless," 
he must have been a young man, and in one place he 
speaks of his " beardless years." He was of St. John's 
College, Cambridge, and took his degree of B.A. in 
1585.* This is almost the only date connected with his 

* He tells us himself in his " Lenten Stnff/' 1599, a tract in praise 
of red herrings, reprinted in both editions of the Harleian Miscellany, 


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private history that can be fixed with certainty ; but he 
is supposed to have quitted the university in some dis- 
grace about 1586, and he certainly never proceeded Mas- 
ter of Arts. The cause of his disgrace has nowhere been 
explained, and we find the consequences of it thus al- 
luded to by the anonymous author of a tract called 
" Polymanteia," printed in 1595: ** Cambridge, make 
thy two children friends : thou hast been unkind to one 
to wean him before his time, and too fond upon the 
other to keep him so long without preferment : the one 
is ancient, and of much reading ; the other is young, but 
full of wit." The one who was " ancient, and of much 
reading,'* was Nash's antagonist, Gabriel Harvey, of whom 
we shall have more to say hereafter ; the other, to whom 
Cambridge had been " unkind'' in " weaning him before 
his time," and who was " full of wit," was Nash ; and 
the expression is too unequivocal (coupling it with the 
fact that Nash never became M. A.) to allow us to doubt 
that he left his college under some imputation of mis- 
conduct. It has been stated that he was concerned in 
writing a satirical production, called Terminus et non 

that he was horn at Leostoff, in Saffolk, hut he does not give any 
date. He farther informs us that his family belonged to the Nash's 
of Herefordshire. He addressed a private letter to Sir Robert Cotton, 
(preserved in the British Museum, and printed in '* The Hist, of 
Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage/' i., 303) and called him his 
" right worshipfull and loving cousin." Like nearly all Nash's com- 
positions, it is fall of curious allusions to circumstances of the time, 
among others to the publication of Sir J. Harington's *' Metamor- 
phosis of Ajax," which serves to fix the date of the letter shortly 
after 1596. Nash was then poor, and pleaded poverty to Sir Robert 
Cotton^ observing, " I am merry now, though I have ne'er a penny 
in my purse." 


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Terminus, which gave great offence^ and that his partner 
in the oomposition, whoever he might be, was expelled. 
No record of the expulsion of Nash, if, indeed, such me- 
morials were preserved at that date, has been discovered. 
It appears from more than one of Nash*s productions, 
that he had visited Italj,^ and that he had also been in 
Ireland before 1589 : possibly he travelled for a short 
time after he had been ejected from Cambridge ; but we 
find him in London in 1587, in which year he wrote a 
very amusing and clever introductory epistle to a tract 
[hj the celebrated Robert Greene, called " Menaphon," 
iafterwards better known by the name of " Greene's Ar- 
cadia,'' the title it bore in the later impressions.*^ This 

^ The passage npoD this point in Nash's " Almond for a Parrot/' 
(printed without date, but anterior to 1590) is too carious, with re- 
ference both to him and Kemp, the actor of Dogberry, Peter, 
&c., in Shakespeare's plays, to require any excuse for quoting it« 
" Coming (says Nash) from Venice this last summer, and taking 
Bergamo in my way homeward to England, it was my hap, sojourn- 
ing there some four or five days, to light in fellowship with that 
famous Francattip harlequin, who, perceiving me to be an English- 
man by my habit and speech, asked me many particulars of the 
order and manner of our plays, which he termed by the name of re- 
presentations. Amongst other talk, he inquired of me if I knew any 
such Parabolano, here in London, as Signior Charlatano Kempino ? 
Very well, (quoth I) and have been often in his company. He 
hearing me say so, began to embrace me anew, and ofiered me all 
the courtesy he could for his sake, saying, although he knew him 
not, yet for the report he had heard of his pleasance, he could not 
but be in love with his perfections being absent." Mr. Halliwell, in 
his notes to the L%id»9 Coventria, printed for this Society, has shewn 
(p. 410) that Kemp afterwards visited Italy. 

« We take the date of Greene's " Menaphon," 1587, from the 
edition of that author's " Dramatic Works," by the Rev. A. Dyce. 
He does not seem to have met with any copy of it of so early a date 


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seems to have been Nash's earliest appearance in the cha- 
racter of an author, bnt his style, even at that period, is 
remarkable for its viyacity, grace, and facility. 

He promised his ** Anatomy of Absurditie" in that 
epistle, and accordingly it came ont in 1589, bnt several ) 
other productions in the same year are attributed to him. ' 
It is certain that about this date he embarked in his con- 
test with the Puritans, and directed against them a pow- 
erful battery of satire and ridicule in various publications. 
This was the opening of what was termed the ^^ Martin- 
Marprelate controversy,'' in which Nash belaboured his 
adversaries without measure or mercy. At this period 
he wrote his *' Plaine Percevall, the Peace-maker of 
England," 1689; "Martin's Month's Mind," 1589; 
" The Return of the renowned Cavaliero, Pasquil of 
England," 1589 ; his '* Almond for a Parrot," which is 
without date, but certainly published before 1590; 
and his " Pasquil's Apology," which bears date in that 
year. Some of these pieces are anonymous, but there is 
little doubt that they came from his pen, and they are 
all in the same free and unrestrained style of witty sar- 
casm, convincing argument, and ludicrous invective. 
Even deprived of the temporary interest which belonged 
to the subject, all these productions are extremely plea- 
sant reading, and while going through them, we are as- 
tonished at the exhaustless stores of the writer's terms 
of humorous objurgation. 

The adversaries of Nash in this literary conflict were 

as 1587, and quotes the title-page of the impression of 1589. It was 
also printed in 1599, 1605, 1610, 1616, and 1634. It was reprinted 
in vol. i. of •• Archaica," edited by the late Sir Egerton Brydges. 

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" legion ;" bat they were no match for him at any point 
but in tedious quotations from Scripture. Having si- 
lenced them^ at least for a time, his next antagonist was 
a single individual, of great learning and considerable 
talents, whose name has before been introduced — Gabriel 
Harvey, There were three Harveys, (xabriel, Kichard, 
and John, and Nash and his friend, Robert Greene, un- 
luckily discovered that they were the sons of a rope- 
maker* John and Richard Harvey were astronomers, 
or, perhaps more properly, astrologers, and published 
some predictions (referred to in the body of the tract 
now reprinted), which never came to pass, although the 
writers were imprudent enough to stake their profes- 
sional reputation upon their punctual fulfilment. Nash, 
laughed at their disappointment ; and, as we may conclude 
from what is said in " Pierce Penniless,*' thereby in- 
curred the wrath of Gabriel Harvey, who came forward 
in defence of his brothers, and incidentally of him- 
self against the imputation of the lowness of their origin. 
Nash retorted in his " Wonderful Strange Astrological 
Prognostication," which made its appearance in 1591, 
and to which (xabriel Harvey replied, as we learn from 
Nash, promulgating the name of the author, which, we 
apprehend, (for we have never seen the tract) was con- 
cealed. Hence the revenge taken by Nash in some of the 
following pages, though he conceals the name of the 
individual who had made the attack upon him. 

There seems little reason to doubt that Nash wrote 
" Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil," to relieve 
himself from pressing temporary necessity. He avows 
his extreme poverty in the outset, and laments the little 


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encoaragement given by the rich to writers, whether of 
poetry or prose. The first edition was published (as 
will be seen by our exact reprint of the title-page) by 
Richard Jones, who was the ** book-midwife" to many 
authors of the day, especially to those whose produc- 
tions were of a lighter and more popular character. 
Whether Nash sold the MS. to him does not appear ; 
but he was absent when it was printed, and the proba- 
bility is that he did procure money for it from Jones : 
in his epistle before the second edition, (which we 
shall insert presently) he does not pretend that the 
bookseller had come unfairly by the copy. The prin- 
cipal ground of Nash's complaint was that the publisher 
had put a '^ long-tailed title" to it, and had thus let the 
author, " in the forefront of his book, make a tedious 
mountebank's oration to the reader," This of itself is 
somewhat curious, if not important, as a piece of literary 
history, since it shews that in many cases the lengthy lau- 
datory title-pages to tracts of the time were not the 
composition of the writer of the body of the work, but 
of the bookseller who wished to make it sell. It strongly 
confirms, too, the opinion of some of the commentators 
on Shakespeare, that, when we find his " Merchant of 
Venice" called " a most excellent history," or " Love's 
Labours Lost" a " fine conceited comedy," the author 
of those plays had nothing to do with such descriptive 
designations. Nash was decidedly opposed to such 
" tricks of trade," and, accordingly, the " forefront" of 
the second edition of his " Pierce Penniless" was, as he 
directed, simply in these terms : 

•* Pierce Fenilessehis Supplication to the Diuell. Barbaria grandis 

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habere nihil. Written by ThomaB Nash, Gent. London, printed 
by AbeU Jeffes, for L B. 1592." 

Nash's letter to Jeffes, preceding this impression, is 

well worth preserving, and we subjoin it, by pennis8ion> 

from a copy in the library of Lord Francis Egerton. 

'* A prwate Epistle of the Author to the Printer. Wherein hie fiM 
meaning and purpose (m publishing this books) is setfoorth. 

*' Faith, I am verie sorrie (sir) I am thus miawares betrayed to 
infamie. You write to me, my book is hasting to the second impres- 
sion : he that hath once broke the ice of impudence need not care 
how deepe he wade in discredit. I confesse it to be a meer toy, not 
deseruing any judicial mans view : if it haue found any friends, so it 
is ; you knowe very wel that it was abroad a fortnight ere I knewe of 
it, & vncorrected and vnfinished, it hath offired it selfe to the open 
scorne of the world. Had you not beene so forward in the repub- 
lishing of it, you shold haue had certayne epistles to orators and 
poets, to insert to the later end : as, namely, to the ghost of Ma- 
chevill, of Tully, of Ovid, of Roscius, of Pace, the Duke of Norfolk's 
jester ; and, lastly, to the ghost of Robert Greene, telling him what 
a coyle there is with pampheting on him after his death. These 
were prepared for Pierce Penilesse first setting foorth, had not the 
feare of infection detained mee with my lord in the countrey. 

" Now, this is that I woulde haue you to do in this second edition. 
First, cut off that long-tayled title, and let mee not, in the forefront 
of my booke, make a tedious mountebank's oration to the reader, 
when in the whole there is nothing praise-worthie, 

" I heare say, there bee obscure imitators, that goe about to frame 
a second part to it, and offer it to sell in Paules Church-yard and 
elsewhere, as from mee. Let mee request you (as ever you will ex- 
pect any favour at my hands) to get some body to write an epistle 
before it, ere you set it to sale againe, importmg thus much : — that if 
any such lewde devise intrude it selfe to their hands, it is a cosenage, 
and plaine knauery of him that sels it, to get mony, and that I haue 
no manner of interest or acquaintance with it. Indeed, if my ley* 
sure were such as I could wish, I might haps (halfe a yeare hence) 
write the returne of the Knight of the Post from Hel, with the 


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Devth answer to the SvpplieatUm; bat, as for a second part of 
Pierce Penilesse, it is a most ridiculous rogery. 

" Other news I am aduertised of, that a scald trivial lying pamphlet, 
cald Greens Groats-worth of Wit, is given out to be of my doing. 
God neuer haue care of my soule, but utterly renounce me, if the 
least word or Billable in it proceeded from my pen, or if I were any 
way privie to the writing or printing of it. I am growne at length 
to see into the vanity of the world more than euer I did, and now I 
condemne my selfe for nothing so much as playing the dolt in print. 
Out vpon it ! it is odious, specially in this moralizing age, wherein 
euery one seeks to shew himselfe a polititian by mis-interpreting. 
In one place of my booke Pierce Pemiesse saith, but to the knight 
of the post, / prt^f how might I call you; & they say I meant one 
Howe, a knaue of that trade^ that I neuer heard of before. The an* 
tiquaries are offended without cause, thinking I goe about to detract 
from that excellent profession, when (God is my witnesse) I rever- 
ence it as much as any of them all, and had no manner of allusion to 
them that stumble at it. I hope they wil gtue me leave to think 
there be fooles of that art, as well as of al other ; but to say I utterly 
condemne it as an unfruitfull studie, or seeme to despise the excel* 
lent qualified partes of it, is a most false and injurious surmise. 
There is nothing that, if a man list, he may not wrest or pervert : I 
cannot forbid anie to thinke villainously. Sed caveat emptor. Let 
the interpreter beware, for none euer hard me make allegories of an 
idle text. Write who wil against me, but let him look his life be 
without scandale ; for if he touch me neuer so little, De be as good 
as the Blacke Booke to him & his kindred. Beggerly lyes no beg- 
gerly wit but can invent : who spumeth not at a dead dogge ? but 
I am of another mettal : they shall know that I Hue as their evil 
angel, to haunt them world without end, if they disquiet me without 
cause. Farewell, and let me heare from you as soone as it is come 
forth. I am the plagues prisoner in the country as yet : if the sick- 
nesse cease before the thirde impression, I wil come and alter what* 
soeuer may be offensive to any man, and bring you the latter 

" Your friend, 

" Tho. Nash." 


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There are several passages in the preceding epistle 
which require brief notice. In the first place, it appears 
that Nash had by this time found a patron, for he says 
that ^' the fear of infection had detained him with his 
lord in the country." This nobleman may have been 
the personage whom Nash celebrates under the name of 
Amyntas, at the conclusion of " Pierce Penniless," and 
to whom he there contends Spenser ought to have in- 
serted a sonnet with the others at the end of his " Faerie 
Queene," 1590. While Nash was thus resident with his 
lord in the country, his " Summer's Last Will and Tes- 
tament" was performed as a private show, and a clue 
may be afforded to the name of the peer who had taken 
Nash under his protection, by the fact that it was repre- 
sented at Croydon, as appears from the piece itself.^ In- 
ternal evidence proves that it was acted in the autumn 
of 159S. The terms in which Nash speaks of his dead 
friend Greene's " Groatsworth of Wit" (which originally 
came out in 1592) are deserving remark. It appears 
that the authorship of it had been imputed to Nash ; and 
this we learn, not merely on the evidence of Nash himself 
in the preceding " epistle," but on that of Henry Chettle, 
who published his " Kind Heart's Dream" (without 
date) early in 1593. Nash somewhat angrily repudiates 
Greene's tract as " a scald, trivial, lying pamphlet ;" and, 

^ See a reprint of it, from the only impression in 1600, in the 
last edition of •* Dodsley's Old Plays," which also contains Peek's 
" Edward the First," 1593, Lodge's " Wounds of CivU War/' 
1594. and Greene's "Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay," 1594, as 
well as " Appius and Virginia," by R. B., 1575, and the interlude of 
•' The World and the Child," 1522, all for the first time included in 
that Collection. 

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possibly, one of the " lying " portions of it, in the opi- 
nion of Nash, was that in which an attack was made 
upon Shakespeare as " the only Shake-scene of a coun- 
try," and as ** an upstart crow, beautified with the 
feathers" of other poets. We have the more reason to 
believe that this injurious character of our great dra- 
matist was rejected by his contemporaries, because, in 
the preliminary matter to his " Kind Heart's Dream," 
Chettle himself apologises for it in terms that do 
him great credit.® As he had committed a wrong, 
he was anxious to make the earliest and best amends 
in his power. 

" The Black Book," spoken of by Nash, may have 
been the work which the Rev. Mr. Dyce places among 
Greene's tracts, called " The Black Bookes Messenger," 
printed in 159S. In 1604 was published a pamphlet, 
called " The Black Book," which has been assigned to 
Middleton, and which must have been a considerably 
later production. 

ISfash, in his letter to Jeffes, with some indignation 

« See the ezceUent reprint of this very rare and interesting tract 
(of which only two copies seem to be known), made under the able 
superintendence of Mr. Rimbault for the Percy Society. Chettle 
(speaking, no doubt, of Shakespeare, although he does not name 
him) there says that *' he had himself seen his demeanour no less 
civil than he exceUent in the quality he professed : besides [he adds] 
divers of worship have reported his uprightness of dealing, which 
argues his honesty, and his facetious grace in writing, that approves 
his art/' (p. iv.) This was intended by Chettle, and no doubt received 
by Shakespeare, as sufficient amends for the offensive expressions in 
the " Groatsworth of Wit." Nash, we may be certain, wrote to 
Jeffes before " Kind Heart's Dream" was published. 



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disavows any " second part" to his " Pierce Penniless," 
and denies that he had had any hand in such a produc* 
tion, should it he offered for sale in the trade ; at the 
same time he admits that, if leisure permitted, he might 
he disposed to write " The Return of the Knight of the 
Post from Hell with the Devil's Answer to the Suppli- 
cation ; " and an anonymous piece, with a correspond- 
ing title, came out in 1606, considerably after Nash's 
death, and which in name alone resembled the original. 
Dekker, too, in the same year, put forth a tract, which 
he called " News from Hell, brought by the Devil's 
Carrier," in which he endeavoured, though only with 
moderate success, to imitate the humorous and satirical 
vein of his predecessor. 

The literary " flyting," (as it would have been called 
in Scotland) between Nash and Gabriel Harvey, was main- 
tained for several years,^ with one considerable interval, 
when hostilities ceased, as if a truce had been agreed to 
by each party. As this subject has been as accurately 
as entertainingly treated by Mr. D'Israeli, in his " Ca- 

' It is thus alluded to by the celebrated old poet, Thomas Church- 
yard, who began writing under Lord Surrey, and did not lay down 
his pen, tiU he laid down his life in 1G04: the following stanza is 
from his " Pleasant Conceit penned in Verse," 1593. 
" No writer now dare say the crowe is blacke. 
For cruell kytes will crave the cause and why : 
A faire white goose bears feathers on her backe. 
That gaggles still, much like a chattering pye. 
The angel bright, that Gabrill is, in sky 
ShaU know that Nash I love and will doe still. 
When GabrilVs words scarce win our world's good will." 
Nash had secured the permanent kindness of Churchyard by praising 
his ballad of " Shore's Wife," which some enemies of the veteran 
versifier had insisted was too good to have been written by him. 


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lamities of Aathors/' it is not necessary to enter farther 
into the subject here» than to make the following quota- 
tion from Nash's ** Have with you to Safifron Walden," 
1596, with reference to the origin of the quarrel. It is 
to be observed that this admirable tract terminated the 
hostility between the parties, for the heavy-harnessed 
Harvey never again ventured to enter the lists with his 
light-armed, active, and most annoying antagonist.fl^ In 
the pamphlet last mentioned, Nash asserts that the quar- 
rel was entirely of Harvey's " seeking and beginning, in 
Hie Lamb of God [a work mentioned in the ensuing 
pages], where he and his brother * ♦ • scummered out 
betwixt them an epistle to the readers against all poets 
and writers; and M. Lily [the dramatic poet, and author 
of Pap with a Hatchet ] and me by name he beruffianised 
and berascalled, compared to Martin, and termed us 
piperly make-plays and make-bates, yet bade us hold 
our peace, and not be so hardy as to answer him ; for, if 
we did, he would make a bloody day in Paul's Church- 
yard, and splinter our pens till they straddled again as 
wide as a pair of compasses." — (Sign. V 2.) Nash's 
rancour against Harvey was increased by the fact that 
the latter wrote a most severe and gross attack upon 
Greene after his death, and when he seems to have 
supposed that nobody would be ready to take up the 
cudgels for that prolific pamphleteer. 

We have already noticed Nash's " Summer's Last 

V If Harvey ever replied, it was in the character of Richard Lich- 
fields the Cambridge barber, id a small tract, entitled " The Trim- 
ming of Thomas Nash," printed in 1597. The contest was then 
put a stop to by the public authorities. 



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Wai and Testament," acted in 1592, but not printed 
until 1600. He also assisted Marlowe in the composi- 
tion of their fine tragedy, " Dido, Queen of Carthage,'* 
printed in 1594, the year after the death of the great 
poet, who, we may conjecture, had the principal share 
in the composition. These are the only dramatic works 
in which Nash was concerned that have come down to 
our day, but he wrote and suffered in 1597 for a play 
called ** The Isle of Dogs," which no doubt was of a 
satirical description, and gave so much offence that Hens- 
lowe's company, by which it was acted, was silenced for 
a time, and the author, after having been brought be- 
fore the Privy Council, was imprisoned. How long 
he was confined no authority that we have met with 
mentions; but when he wrote his " Lenten Stuff," in 
1599, he alluded to it himself vrith evident satisfaction, 
as a trouble from which he had escaped without injury 
to his character. 

It will be seen that, near the conmiencement of the 
ensuing tract, Nash introduces the name of Sir Philip 
Sidney, as that of a man who knew how to value and 
reward learning and talents, Nash, in the preceding 
year, had contributed to the popularity of Sidney 
by editing an impression of his poems, prefacing it 
by a long and interesting letter, of which no notice 
has ever been taken, on account of the extraordi- 
nary rarity of the volume to which it belongs. Only 
a single copy of it is known ; and as it is in a pri- 
vate collection, and may never be accessible to those 
who are curious in such matters, a literal copy of the 
title-page will not be unacceptable : 


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•• Syr P. S. His Astrophel and Stella. Wherein the excellence of 
sweete Poesie is concluded. To the end of which are added sundry 
other rare Sonnets of divers Noblemen and Gentlemen. At London, 
Printed for Thomas Newman. Anno Domini, 1591." 

The miscellaneous poems at tne end of this " Astro- 
phel and Stella " are chiefly by Samuel Daniel, twenty- 
eight of whose sonnets are inserted : all of these, with 
the exception of four, were included in the " Delia " of 
1592, and in subsequent editions of that beautiful work : 
in the first impression of 1592, Daniel complains that 
" a greedy printer had published some of his sonnets 
with those of Sir Philip Sidney," referring to Nash's 
edition of " Astrophel and Stella." Some poems by 
E. 0,, meaning, no doubt, the Earl of Oxford, and by 
anonymous versifiers, who subscribe " Content," and 
Megliora Spero, accompany Daniel's sonnets ; and the 
U7iique volume is concluded by the two subsequent 
stanzas, to which no name, initial, nor motto is sub- 
scribed, and which we may conclude, both from that 
circumstance and from their tenor, were by Nash. The 
lines are not much in themselves, but the existence of 
them has never been hinted at by any of tie biogra- 
phers of Nash, nor by a single bibliographical antiquary. 

" If floads of teares could dense my follies past. 
And smokes of sighes might sacrifice for sin ; 
If groning cries might salve my fault at last. 

Or endles mone for error pardon win ; 
Then would I crie, weepe, sigh, and ever mone 
Mine error, fault, sins, follies, past and gone. 

** I see my hopes must wither in their hud ; 
I sec my favours are no lasting flowers ; 


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I see that words will breath no better good 

Than losse of time, and lightning but at bowers : 
Then, when I see, then this I say, therefore. 
That favours, hopes, and words can blind no more." 

It is to be remarked that another edition of Sidney's 
"Astrophel and Stella" was published in 1691. It 
was a corrected and authentic impression, as far as a 
judgment can be formed from its appearance; while 
that edited by Nash (who, we may presume, was selected 
for the purpose on account of his popularity as an au- 
thor) was most probably surreptitious. Newman, the 
bookseller, in his dedication of the small volume, admits 
that the MS. from which it was printed had been " much 
corrupted by ill writers." 

In an Introduction, like the present, to one of Nash's 
most celebrated pieces, we shall not think any apology 
necessary for quoting at length, from the earliest im- 
pression of " Astrophel and Stella," the prefatory let- 
ter of its avowed editor. Until now it has not seen the 
light from the period of its first publication, and al- 
though bibliographers may have been aware of its ex- 
istence, not a single extract, quotation from it, or even 
reference to it, has ever been made, that has come under 
our observation. Every thing Nash wrote must have its 
recommendations, of thought, language, or allusion ; but 
the commencement of what follows is written in a 
somewhat grandiloquent and turgid strain, unlike his 
usual style ; but after he has dismissed his compliment 
to the Countess of Pembroke, he alights from his stilts, 
and talks in his usual easy, sprightly, and pointed 


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" Somewhat TO readk for them that list. 

" Tempus adest plausus aureapompa venit — so endes the Sceane of 
Idiots, and enter Astrophel in pompe. Gentlemen, that have seene 
a thousand lines of folly drawn forth ex uno puncto impudentue, and 
two famous mountains to goe to the conception of one mouse ; that 
haue had your eares deafned with the eccho of Fames hrazen towres, 
when only they have been toucht with a leaden pen ; that have seene 
Pan sitting in his bower of delights, & a number of Midasses to ad- 
mire his miserable hornepipes, let not your surfeted sight, new come 
from such puppet play, thinke scome to turn aside into this theater 
of pleasure ; for here you shall find a paper stage strewd with pearle, 
an artificial heaven to ouershadow the faire frame, and christal wala 
to encounter your carious eyes, whiles the tragicommedy of love is 
performed by starlight. The chiefe actor here is Melpomene, whose 
dusky robes, dipt in the ynke of teares, as yet seeme to drop when I 
view them neare. The argument cruel chastity, the prologue hope, 
the epilogue dispaire, videte quaso, et Unguis animisque favete. And 
here, peradventure, my witles youth may be taxt with a margent 
note of presumption for offering to put up any motion of applause in 
the behalfe of so excellent a poet, (the least sillable of whose name, 
sounded in the eares of judgement, is able to giue the meanest line he 
writes a dowry of immortality) yet those who observe how jewels 
oftentimes com to their hands that know not their value, & that the 
cockscombes of our dales, like Esops cock, had rather have a barley 
kemell wrapt up in a ballet, then they wil dig for the welth of wit in 
any ground that they know not, I hope wil also hold me excused, 
though I open the gate to his glory, and invite idle eares to the ad- 
miration of his melancholy. 

" Quidpeiitur sacris nisi tantum/ama poetis, 
which, although it be oftentimes imprisoned in ladyes caskFetJs, and 
the president booke of such as cannot see without another man's 
spectacles, yet at length it breakes foorth in spight of his keepers, 
and useth some private penne (in steed of a picklock) to procure his 
violent enlargement. 

" The sunne for a time may maske his golden head in a cloud, 
yet in the end the thicke vaile doth vanish, and his embellished 
blandishment appeares. Long hath Astrophel (England's sunne) 


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withheld the beames of his spirite from the common view of our 
darke sence, and night hath hovered oner the gardens of the 
Nine Sisters, while ignis fatuus, and grosee fatty flames, (such as com- 
monly arise out of dunghilles) have tooke occasion, in the middest 
eclipse of his shining perfections, to wander abroade with a wispe of 
paper at their tailes, like hobgoblins, and leade men vp and downe 
in a circle of absnrditie a whole weeke, and never know where they 
are. But nowe that cloude of sorrow is dissolved, which fierie Loue 
exhaled from his dewie haire, and affection hath vnburthened the 
labouring streames of her wombe in the low cesterne of his grave : 
the night hath resigned her jettie throne vnto Lucifer, and cleere 
daylight possesseth the skie that was dimmed : wherfore breake off 
your daunce, you fairies & elves, and come from the fieldes, with the 
tome carcases of your tunbrills, for your kingdome is expired. Put 
out your rush candles, you poets & rimers, and bequeath your crazed 
quarterzayns to the chandlers ; for, loe ! here he commeth that hath 
broken your legs. Apollo hath resigned his ivory harp vnto Astro- 
phel, and he^ like Mercury, must lull you a sleep with his musicke. 
Sleep Argus, sleepe Ignorance, sleep Impudence, for Mercury hath 
lo, & only lo Pcean belongeth to Astrophel. Deare Astrophel ! that 
in the ashes of thy loue, liuest againe like the Phanix ; 6 might thy 
bodie (as thy name) line againe here amongst us ; but the earth, the 
mother of mortalities hath snatcht thee too soone into her chilled 
colde armes, and will not let thee by any meanes be drawne from her 
deadly imbrace ; & thy diuine soule, carried on angels wings to 
heauen, is installed in Hermes place, sole prolocutor to the gods. 
Therefore mayest thou neuer retume from the Elisian Fieldes like 
Orpheus, therefore must we ever mourne for our Orpheus, 

" Fayne would a second spring of passion heere spende it selfe on 
his sweet remembrance; but religion, that rebuketh prophane la- 
mentation, driukes in the riuers of those dispaireful teares, which 
languorous ruth hath outwelled, & bids me looke backe to the house 
of honor, where, from one & the selfe same roote of renowne, I shal 
And many goodly branches deriued, & such as, with the spreading 
increase of their vertues, may somewhat ouerahadow the griefe of 
his los. Amongst the which, fayre sister o£ Phcebus, & eloquent 
secretary to the Muses, most rare Countesse of Pembroke, thou art 


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not to be omitted ; whom artes doe adore as a second Minerva, and 
our poets extoll as the patronesse of their invention ; for in thee the 
Lesbian Sappho, with her lirick harpe, is disgraced, & the laarel gar- 
lande, which thy brother so braaely advanst on his launce, is still 
kept greene in the temple of Pallas, Thou only sacrificest thy soule 
to contemplation ; thou only entertainest emptie-handed Homer, & 
keepest the springs of Castalia from being dried vp. Learning, 
wisedom, beautie, & all other ornaments of nobilitie whatsoeuer^ 
seeke to approve theroselaes in thy sight, and get a farther scale of 
felicity from the smiles of thy fauonr. 

" O Jove digna viro ni Jove nata fores. 
" I feare I shall be coanted a mercemary flatterer, for mixing my 
thoughts with such figurative admiration ; but generall report, that 
Burpasseth my praise, condemneth my rethoricke of dulnesse for so 
colde a commendation. Indeede, to say the truth, my stile is somewhat 
heavie gated, and cannot daunce trip and goe it soliuely, with oh my 
love, ah my love, all my loues gone, as other shepheards that have been 
fooles in the morris time out of minde ; nor hath my prose any skill to 
imitate the almond leafe verse, or sit tabring five yeres together no- 
thing but to bee, to bee, on a paper drum. Onely I can keepe pace 
with a Grauesend barge, and care not if I have water enough to land 
my ship of fooles with the tearrae (the tyde I should say). Now, 
euery man is not of that minde ; for some to go the lighter away will 
take in their fraught of spangled feathers, golden peebles^ straw, 
reedes, bulrushes, or any thing, and then they beare out their sayles 
as proudly, as if they were balisted with bullbeefe. Others are so 
hardly bested for loading, that they are faine to retaile the cinders of 
Troy, and the shiuers of broken trunchions to fill vp their boate, that 
else should goe empty ; and if they haue but a pound weight of good 
merchandise, it shall be placed at the poope, or pluckt in a thousand 
pieces to credit their carriage. For my part, euery man as he likes, 
Meus cujusque is est quisque^ Tis as good to goe in cut fingerd 
pumps as corke shoes, if one weare Cornish diamonds on his toes. 
To explain it by a more familiar example ; an asse is no great states- 
man in the beastes common- wealth, though he weare his eares 
upsevant muffe, after the Muscovy fashion, & hange the lip like a 
capcasc halfe open, or looke as demurely as a sixpenny browne loafe. 


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for he hath some imperfections that do keepe him from the common 
councel : yet of many he is deemed a very vertaous memheo and one 
of the honestest sort of men that are ; so that our opinion (as Sextna 
Empedocles) gives the name of good or ill to every thing. Out of 
whose works (latelie translated into English for the benefit of 
unlearned writers) a man might collect a whole booke of this argu- 
ment, which no doubt would prove a worthy common-wealth matter, 
and far better than wits waxe karvell : much good worship haue 
the author. 

" Such is this golden age wherein we live, & so replenisht with 
golden asses of all sortes, that if learning had lost it selfe in a groue 
of genealogies, wee neede doe no more but sette an old olde goose 
ouer halfe a dozen pottle pots (which arc, as it were, the egges of 
invention) and wee shall haue such a breede of bookes within a little 
while after, as will fill all the world with the wilde fowle of good 
wits. I can tell you this is a harder thing then making gold of 
quicksilver, and will trouble you more then the morrall of Esops 
glow-worme hath troubled our English apes ; who, striving to warme 
themselues with the flame of the philosophers stone, have spent all 
their wealth in buying bellowes to blowe this false fyre. Gentle- 
men, I feare I have too much presumed on your idle leysure, and 
beene too bold to stand talking all this while in an other mans 
doore ; but now I will leave you to survey the pleasures of Paphos, 
and ofifer your smiles on the aulter of Venus, 

" Yours in all desire to please, 

" Tho. Nashk." 

It seems evident that Nash felt, in the opening of the 
preceding epistle, (which we give literatim) that he was 
perfonning a task ; but, towards the conclusion, he freed 
himself from this impression, and shook off the restraint 
upon his pen. It is impossible -at this time of day to ex- 
plain some of the temporary, and designedly ambiguous, 
touches at authors of his day near the close, but the hit 
'at Peele and his "Tale of Troy," 1589, seems pretty 
obvious, and Nash sets out with an obscure reference to 


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Greene, and to the manner in which he was accustomed 
to yaunt his uniyersity degrees at Oxford and Cambridge 
in the title-pages of his tracts.^ Nash must have taken 
his degree of Bachelor of Arts at a very early age, if in 
1691 he could talk of his "witless youth" with any 
regard to accuracy. 

We have already spoken of Nash's imprisonment in 
1597, for writing his play called "The Isle of Dogs," 
and we have no trace that he subsequently contributed 
any thing to the stage. His genius does not, in fact, 
seem to have been dramatic ; nor was it narrative, as 
may be judged from his " Life of Jack Wilton," printed 
in 1594, which he confesses (in the dedication to the 
Earl of Southampton) to be in " a clean different vein 
from his other former courses of writing." It was ac- 
knowledged to be a failure, and he never attempted any 
thing more of the kind.* His pious strains were at 

^ Nash probably had some quarrel with Greene not very long 
after he had written for him the preliminary epistle to " Menaphon," 
in 1587. In his " Anatomie of Absurditie/' 1589^ he casts ridi- 
cule upon his productions, calls him the •* Homer of women," and 
ends one of his paragraphs thus : " Therefore, see how far they 
swerve from their purpose, who with Greene colours seeke to garnish 
such Gorgon-like shapes." That they afterwards were upon good 
terms again is very certain, but it is possible that Nash at no time 
had his satirical pen under very good control, and that he now 
and then wielded it even against those with whom he was most inti- 
mate. His good sense and his good taste were offended by the af- ' 
fected style of some of his contemporaries, and in the tract above 
quoted^ he abuses those writers who attributed to minerals and 
herbs properties not belonging to them, for the sake of founding 
affected similes upon imaginary qualities. 

* It is remarkable that Nash has left nothing behind him in prose 


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least more acceptable, and his " Christ's Tears over Je- 
rusalem" went through three editions, in 1593, 1594, 
and 1613. Here it was that he endeavoured to make 
amends to, and peace with, Gubriel Harvey ; but the 
offer was most ungraciously and ungenerously rejected 
by the latter in his " New Letter of Notable Contents," 
1593. The consequence was, that Nash renewed the 
attack with redoubled vigour in a prefatory epistle to 
the copies of his " Christ's Tears," bearing date in 1594. 
As bibliographers have passed over this remarkable 
production without notice, in consequence, perhaps, of 
the belief that the impression of 1594 was only a re- 
print of that of 1593, we shall present a few interesting 
extracts from it ; and, first, what Nash says of Harvey, 
after lamenting that he had ever made overtures of 
peace to his adversary. 

" I thought to make my foe a bridge of golde, or faire words, to 
Hie by ; be hath vsed it as a high way to inuade me. Hoc pia lingua 
dedit : this it is to deale plainely. An extreme gall he is in this 
age, and no better, that beleeves a man for his swearing. Im- 

or poetry that is devoted to the sabject most common to all versi- 
fiers — love. It appears, by his " Anatomie of Absurditie/' 1589, 
(dedicated to Sir Charles Blunt) that he had been enamoured of 
some lady two summers before, and that, meeting with a disappoint- 
ment, it had produced a " pensiveness," which long continued to 
weigh upon his spirits. It is very clear that the lady had been false ; 
for in the same tract he declares, '• Constancy will sooner inhabit 
the body of a cameleon, a tiger, or a wolfe, than the heart of a 

j Sir Egerton Brydges reprinted Nash's " Christ's Tears over 
Jerusalem," in " Archaica," vol. i. but from the impression of 1613, 
and without the highly interesting epistle to which we refer. 


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pious Gabriell Harvey, the vowed enemie to all vowes and pro- 
testations, plucking on with a slavish prinat submission a generall 
publike reconciliation, hath, with a cunning ambuscado of con- 
fiscated idle others^ welneare betrayed me to infamie etemall (his 
owne proper chaire of torment in hell). I can say no more, but the 
deuill and he be no men of their words. Many courses there be, as 
Machiavell inspirdly sets downe, which in them selues seem singular 
and vertuous ; but, if a man follow them, they wilbe his vtter sub- 
uersion : others that seeme absurd, odious, and vitious, that, well 
looked into, will breede him most ease. This course of shaking 
hands with Harvey seemd at first most plausible and commendable^ 
and the rather because I desired to conforme my selfe to the holy sub- 
ject of my booke ; but afterwards (being by his malice peruerted) it 
seemd most degenerate and abject. Henceforth, with the forenamd 
Machiavel, for an vnrefutable principle I will hold it, that he is 
vtterly vndone which seekes by new good tumes to roote out old 
lodges. A prouerbe it is as stale as sea-beefe : saue a thief from 
the gallows, and hee'le be the first to shew the way to Saint Gilesesse. 
Harvey I manifestly saued from the knot vnder the eare : verily, he 
hath hanged him selfe had I gone forwards in my vengeance." 

This last obseryation forms, in fact, the point of an 
epigram upon Nash by Freeman, quoted in " Dodsley's 
Old Plays," last edit., vol. ix., p. 8. Nash afterwards 
vindicates John Lily, ** poor deceased Kit Marlowe," 
and Dr. Peme ; and from thence proceeds thus to notice 
complaints made against his " Life of Jack Wilton.'* 

" Leave we him [Harvey] till his fatall houre call for him, and let 
vs cast about to some more necessarie matter. I am informed there 
be certaine busie wits abrode, that seeke, in my Jacke WUtan, to 
anagram matize the name of Wittenberge to one of the Vniversities 
of England ; that scome to be counted honest, plaine meaning men, 
like their neighbours, for not so much as out of mutton and potage 
but they will construe a meaning of kings and princes. Let one but 
name bread, but they will interpret it to be the towne of Bredau in 
the low countreyes ; if of beere he talkes, then straight he mockes 


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the coantie Beroune in France. If of foule weather, or a shower of 
raioe, he hath relation to some that shall raigne next. Infinite nana- 
her of theee phanatical strange hierogliphicks haue these new deci- 
pherers framed to them seines, & stretcht words on the tenter hooks 
so miserably^ that a man were as good, considering every circum- 
stance, write on cheveril as on paper." 

Some parties had objected to the style in which 
Nash's " Christ's Tears over Jerusalem" was written, 
and especially of the compound words he had employed 
in it, thereby likening our language, as one of our old 
dramatists beautifully expresses it, to 

" the learned Greek, 
Blest in the lovely marriage of sweet words." 

To these critics Nash answers happily as follows : 

" To the second rancke of reprehenders, that complain of my 
hoystrous compound wordes, and ending my Italionate coyned verhes 
all in ize, thas I replie : That no winde that hlowes strong hut is 
hoystrous ; no speech or wordes of any power or force to confute or 
perswade, hut must he swelling and hoystrous. For the compounding 
of my wordes, therein I imitate rich men, who, having store of white 
single money together, convert a number of those small little sentes 
into great peeces of gold, such as double pistoles and portugues. Our 
English tongue, of all languages, most swarmeth with the single 
money of monosillables, which are tlie onely scandal of it. Bookes 
written in them, and no other, seeme like shop-keepers' boxes, that 
containe nothing else saue halfe-pence, three-farthings, and two 
pences. Therefore what did me I, but, having a huge heape of 
those worthlesse shreds of small English in my pia maters purse, to 
make the royaller shew with them to men's eyes, had them to the 
compounders immediately, and exchanged them foure into one, and 
others into more, according to the Greek, French, Spanish, and 

Farther on in the same epistle Nash introduces Spenser 
by name, and makes yarious allusions to his contem- 


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poraries, some of which are now hardly intelligible, but 
most of them interesting to literary antiquaries. We 
regret that we have not room for the whole of this curious 

His last publication was his "Lenten Stuff," in 
1599, unless we are to consider his "Summer's Last 
Will and Testament," in 1600, an authorized impression. 
Dispute has arisen respecting the period of his death, 
some maintaining that it took place in 1604 (see "The 
Bridgewater Catalogue," p. 200), and others, that it 
happened eariier. The Rev. Mr. Dyce, in his edition of 
Middleton's Works, (vol. i., p. xviii.) is in favour of the 
latter opinion, founding himself on a passage in a play 
called " The Return from Parnassus," printed in 1606, 
but originally acted before the death of Queen Elizabeth.^ 
No doubt can be entertained upon the point by those 
who refer to Charies Fitzgeoffrey's " Affanise, sive Epi- 
grammatum Libri Tres," printed in 1601 ; for among the 
Cenotaphia we meet with the following, which is, of 
course, quite decisive. We reprint it precisely as it 
stands in the original. 

" THOMiE Nasho. 
** Qaam Mors edictom Jovis imperiale secata 
Vitalis Naehi extingueret atra faces ; 

k The editor of the last edition of " Dodsley's Old Plays" (who, 
in fact, excepting in some scattered notes, was only the editor of six 
additional plays, then inserted for the first time) had stated the same 
opinion about fifteen years before, in the notice of Nash which pre- 
cedes the reprint of " Sammer's Last Will and Testament," in these 
words : '' It is certain that Nash was not living at the time when ' The 
Return from Parnassus' was produced, which, though not printed until 
1606, was written before the end of the reign of Elizabeth." 


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Annatam jnveni linguam calamumqae tremendum 

(Fulmina bina) prins insidio&a rapit ; 
Moz ilium aggreditnr nudum, atque invadit inerm^, 

Atqne ita de victo vate trophea refert. 
Cur si vel calamus praestb vel lingua fuisset. 

Ipsa quidem metuit mors truculenta mori." 

Whether the wording of this cenotaph should be under- 
stood literally, or only poetically, may admit of doubt, 
but it is not the first time the same point has been em- 
ployed for a similar occasion. At all events, it is now 
clear that Nash was dead in 1601, and this is probably 
the nearest point at which we shall be able to arrive. It 
is somewhat singular, therefore, that Dekker, writing in 
1607, when his " Knight's Conjuring" (which is a re- 
print, with additions, of his " News from Hell") was 
published, should speak of Nash as " newly come" to the 
Elysian fields. At that date he had been dead at least 
eight years ; and this fact may give some countenance to 
the belief that " The Knight's Conjuring," either by that 
or some other name, was an earlier publication than Mr. 
Rimbault has supposed in his excellently-edited reprint 
: of it for the Percy Society. The conclusion of that tract 
[ is perhaps more interesting than any other of the time, 
I since it contains notices of the following contemporaries 
of Dekker, then dead — Spenser, Watson, Kyd, Achelley, 
' Bentley (the actor), Marlowe, Greene, Peele, and, lastly, 
Nash. To revive such productions is rendering an im- 
portant service to our early literature. 


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Describing the ouer-spreading of Vice, and 
the suppression of Vertue. 

Pleasantly interlac'd with variable delights ; and 

pathetically intermixt with conceipted 


Written by Thomas Nash, Gentleman. 


Imprinted by Richard Ihones, dwelling at the 

Signe of the Rose and Crowne^ nere 

Holbume Bridge. 


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In the Authour's absence^ I haue been bold to 
publish this pleasaunt and wittie discourse of Pierce 
Penilesse, his Supplication to the Diuell: which title, 
though it may seeme strange, and in it selfe somewhat 
preposterous, yet if you vouchsafe the reading, you shall 
iinde reason, as well for the Authour's vncouth nomina- 
tion, as for his vnwonted beginning without epistle, 
proeme, or dedication : al which he hath inserted con- 
ceitedly in the matter ; but He be no blab to tell you in 
what place. Bestow the looking, and I doubt not but 
you shall finde dedication, epistle, and proeme to your 
liking, • 

Yours bounden in affection, 



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Hauing spent manie yeres in studying how to liue, 
and liude a long time without money ; hauing tyred my 
youth with foUie, and surfeited my minde with vanitie, I 
began at lengtli to looke backe to repentaunce, & ad- 
dresse my endeuors to prosperities But all in vaine ; I 
sate vp late> & rose early, contended with the colde^ and 
conuersed with scarcitie ; for all my labours turned to 
losse, my vulgar muse was despised & neglected, my 
paines not regarded, or slightly rewarded, and I my selfe 
(in prime of my best wit) layde open to pouertie. Where- Djscite qui 
upon (in a malecontent humor) I accused my fortune, fap»t»» c'i"» . 

* ^ ' \ bSBC qilSB RCl- 

raild on my patrones, bit my pen, rent my papers, and mus merles : 

ragde in all points like a mad man. In which agonie ^cies^'^er fera 

tormenting my selfe a long time, I grew by degrees to a bella sequi. 

milde dis-content ; and pausing a while ouer my stan- 

dish, I resolued in verse to paynt forth my passion: 

which, best agreeing with the vaine of my vnrest, I began 

to complaine in this sort : — 

Why is't damnation to despaire and dye, Estaliquidfa- 

When life is my true happinesse disease? p^r verba le- 

My soule, my soule, thy safetie makes me flye v^''^* 

The faultie meanes, that might my paine appease. 
Diuines and dying men may talke of hell. 
But in my hart her seuerall torments dwell. 


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iD^enio j)crii Ah worthlesse wit, to traine me to this woe, 
meo. Deceitful! artes, that nourish discontent ! 

Ill thriue the follie that hewitcht me so ; 

Vaine thoughts eulieu, for now I will repent : 
Paupertas And yet my wants perswade me to proceede, 
ut versus fa^ Since none takes pitie of a schoUer's neede. 


Forgiue me, God, although I curse my birth, 
And ban the aire, wherein I breathe a wretch ; 

Since miserie hath daunted all my mirth, 

And I am quite vndone through promise-breach. 

Pol me occi- Qh frends ! no frends, that then vngently frowne. 

distis, amici. . o ^ » 

When changing fortune casts vs headlong downe. 

Without redresse complaynes my carelesse verse, 
Hei mihi. And Mydcus eares relent not at my moane : 

2«c meadicS ^"^ «^™ ^""^ ^^ ^"^ ^ ™y g"®"^« ""^^^^^ 

movent. 'Mongst them that will be moou'd when I shall groane. 

England adieu, the soyle that brought me foorth ; 

Adieu vnkinde, where skill is nothing woorth. 

These rymes thuss abruptly set dowoe, I tost my ima- 
gination a thousand wayes, to see if I coulde finde anie 
meanes to relieue my estate ; but all my thoughts con- 
sorted to this conclusion, that the world was vncharitable. 
Miser est qui- ^^^ I ordained to be miserable. Thereby I grew to cod- 

cunque serum- gj^j^j. j^^^ manie base men, that wanted those parts which 

nam suam ne- ' ^ 

quit occul- I had, enioyed content at will, and had wealth at com- 

^^^' maund : I cald to mind a cobler, that was worth fine hun- 

dred pound ; an hostler that had built a goodly Inne, 
and might dispende fortie pounds yerely by his land ; a 
carre-man in a lether pilche, that had whipt a thousand 
Fortuna fa- pound out of his horse tayle : and haue I more wit than 
tet fatuos. all these ? (thought I to my selfe) am I better borne ? 
am I better brought vp ? yea, and better fauored ? and 


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yet am I a begeer? What is the cause? how am I Mentis ex- 

, ... rt pendite cau- 

cro6t, or whence is this curse? sam. 

Euen from hence, that men that should employ such 
as I am« are enamoured of their owne wits, and thinke 
whateuer they doo is excellent, though it be neuer so 
Bcurvie ; that learning (of the ignorant) is rated after 
the value of the inke and paper ; and a scriuener better 
paid for an .obligation, than a schoUer for the best poeme 
he can make ; that euerie grosse brainde idiot is suffered 
to come into print, who, if bee set fborth a pamphlet of Scribimus in- 
the praise of pudding pricks, or write a treatise of Tom poemata pas- 
Thumme, or the exployts of Vntrusse, it is bought vp **™' 
thicke and three-folde, when better things lye dead« 
How then can wee chuse but be needie, when there are 
»o manie droanes amongst us ? or euer proue rich, that 
toyle a whole yeare for faire lookes ? 

Gentle Sir Philip Sydney, thou knewst what belongd Cultor et An- 
to a scboUer ; thou knewest what paines, what toyle, /um'saucte' 
what trauell conduct to perfection : well couldst thou virorum. 
giue euerie vertue his encouragement, euerie arte his 
due, euerie writer his desert, cause none more vertuous, 
wittie, or learned than thy selfe* 

But thou art dead in thy graue, and hast left too few H*^" rapiunt 
eucoeesors of thy glorie, too fewe to cherish the sonnes of nos. 
the muses, or water those budding hopes with their 
plentie, which thy bountie erst planted. 

Beleeue me, gentlemen, (for some crosse mishappes Fluctibus in 
haue taught me experience) there is not that strict obser- PaiillureVe-'" 
nation of honour, which hath been heretofore. Men of liuq""* 
great calling take it of merit to haue their names eter- 
nisht by poets ; and whatsouer pamphlet or dedication 
encounters them, they put it vp their sleeues, and scarce 
giue him thankes that presents it. Much better is it for 
those golden pennes to raise such vngratefull peasants 
from the dung-hill of obscuritie, and make them equal 


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in fame to tlie worthies of olde, when their doating selfe- 
loue shall challenge it of dutie, and not onely giue them 
nothing themselues, but impouerish liberalitie in others. 

This is the lamentable condition of our times, that 
men of arte must seek almes of cormorants, and those 
that deserue best be kept vnder by dunces, who count 
it a policie to keep them bare, because they shuld follow 
their books the better ; thinking belike, that, as prefer- 
ment hath made themselves idle, that were earst painfull 
in meaner places, so it would likewise slacken the endea^ 
uours of those students, that as yet strive to excell in 
hope of aduauncement. A good pollicie to suppresse su- 
perfluous liberalitie; but, had it been practised when 
they were promoted, the yeomandry of the realme had 
been better to passe than it is, and one droane should 
not haue driuen so manie bees from theyr honie-combes* 

I, I, wele giue loosers leaue to talke : it is no matter 
what sic probo and his pennilesse companions prate, 
whilst we haue the gold in our coffers : this is it that 
will make a knaue an honest man, and my neighbour 
Crompton's stripling a better gentleman than his grand 
sier. O ! it is a trim thing when Pride, the sonne, goes 
before, and Shame, the father, foUowes after. Such pre- 
sidents there are in our common-wealth a great manie ; 
not so much of them whome learning and Industrie hath 
exalted, (whome I prefer before genus ei proavos) as of 
carterly vpstart«, that out-face towne and countrey in 
their veluets, when Sir Rowland Russet-coat, their dad, 
goes sagging euerie day in his round gascoynes of white 
cotton, and hath much adoo (poore pennie-father) to 
keepe his vnthrift elbowes in reparations. 

Marry, happie are they, say I, that haue such fathers to 
worke for them whilst they play ; for where other men 
turn ouer manie leaues to get bread and cheese in their 
olde age, and studie twentie yeares to distill golde out of 


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incke, our yong masters doo nothing but deuise how to 
spend, and aske counsaile of the wine and capons, how 
they may quickliest consume their patrimonies. As for 
me, I liue secure from all such perturbations; for 
(thankes bee to God) I am vacuus viator, and care not, 
though I meete the commissioners of New> market-heath 
at high midnight, for anie crosses, images, or pictures 
that I Carrie about mee, more than needes. 

Than needes, quoth I ; nay, I would be ashamde of it, 
if opus and usus were not knocking at my doore twenty 
times a weeke when I am not within : the more is the 
pittie, that such a franke gentleman as I should want ; 
but, since the dice doo runne so vntowardly on my side, 
I am partly prouided of a remedie. For whereas, those 
that stand most on their honour haue shut vp their 
purses, and shift vs off with court holly-bread ; and on 
the other side, a number of hypocriticall hot-spurres, 
that haue O O D alwayes in theyr mouthes, will give 
nothing for Code's sake ; I haue clapt vp a handsome 
Supplication to the Diuell, and sent it by a good fellowi 
that I know will deliuer it. 

And because you may beleeue me the better, I care not 
if I acquaint you with the circumstance. I was informd 
of late dayes, that a certaine blinde retayler, called the 
Diuell, vsed to lend money vpon pawnes or anie thing, and 
would let one for a need haue a thousand pouudes vppon 
a statute merchant of his soule : or if a man plyde him 
throughly, would trust him vppon a bill of his hand, witli- 
out anie more circumstaunce. Besides, hee was noted 
for a priuie benefactor to traytors and parasites, and 
to aduaunce fooles and asses farre sooner than anie ; to 
be a greedie pursuer of newes, and so famous a politician 
in purchasing, that Hel, which at the beginning was but 
an obscure village, is now become a huge citie, whervnto 
all countreys are tributarie. 


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These manifest coniectures of pleotie, assembled in one 
common-place of abilitie, I determined to clawe Auarice 
by the elboe, till his full belly gaue me a full hand ; and 
let him bloud with my pen (if it might be) in tlie veyne 
of Liberalitie: and so (in short time) was this paper- 
monster. Pierce Penilesse, begotten. 

But written and all, here lies the question ; where shall 
I finde this old asse, that I may deliuer it ? Mas, thats 
true : they say the lawyers haue the Diuel and all, and 
it is like enough he is playing ambodexter amongst 
them. Fie ! fie ! the Diuell a driver in Westminster 
Hall? it can neuer be. 

Now, I pray, what doo you imagine him to be ? Per- 
haps you thinke it is not possible he should be so graue. 
Oh ! then, you are in an errour, for hee is as formale as 
the best scriuener of them all. Marry, hee doth not vse 
to weare a night- cap, for bis homes will not let him ; and 
yet I know a hundred, as well headed as he, that will make 
a jolly shift with a court-cup on their crownes, if the 
weather bee colde. 

To proceed with my tale. To Westminster Hall I went, 
and made a search of enquirie, from the blacke gowne 
to the buckram bag, if there were anie such serjeant, 
bencher, counsailer, atturney, or pettifc^ger, as Signior 
Comuio Diabolo, with the good face ? But they all (vni 
voce) affirmed that be was not there : marry, whether hee 
were at the Exchange or no, amongst the ritch mer- 
chants, that they could not tell ; but it was the likelier 
of the two, that I should meete with him, or heare of him, 
(at the least) in those quarters. I faith, and say you so ? 
quoth I ; and lie bestow a little labour more^ but He hunt 
him out. 

Without more circumstance, thether came I ; and, 
thrusting my selfe (as the manner is) amongst the con- 
fusion of languages, I askt (as before) whether he were 


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there extant or no ? But from one to another, Non notd 
D^Bmoneniy was all the answere I could get. At length 
(as Fortune serude) I lighted vppon an old, straddling 
usurer, clad in a damaske cassocke, edgde with fox-furre; 
a paire of trunke slops, sagging down like a shoomaker^s 
wallet, and a short tlirid-bare gown on his backe, fac't 
with moath-eaten budge : vpon his head he wore a filthy, 
coarse biggin^ and next it a garnish of night-caps^ with 
a sage butten cap of the forme of a cow sheard, ouerspred 
verie orderly : a fat chufFe it was (I remember), with a 
grey beard cut short to the stumps, as though it were 
grymde, and a huge, worm-eaten nose, like a cluster of 
grapes hanging downwards. Of him I demaunded, if hee 
could tell me anie tidings of the partie I sought for. 

By my troth, quoth he, stripUng, (and then he cought) 
I saw him not lately, nor know I certainly where he 
keepes ; but thus much I heard by a broker, a friend of 
mine, that hath had some dealings with him in his time, 
that hee is at home sicke of the goute, and will not be 
spoken withall vnder more than thou art able to giue, 
some two or three hundred angels, if thou hast anie sute 
to him ; and then, perhaps, hele straine curtesie, with his 
legges in child bed, and come forth and talke with thee ; 
but, otherwise, non est domi — he is busie with Mammon 
and the Prince of the North, howe to build vp his king- 
dome, or sending his sprites abroad to vndermine the ma- 
ligners of his gouernment. 

I, hearing of thiscolde comfort, tooke my leaue of him 
very faintly, and, like a carelesse malcontent, that knewe 
not which way to turne, retyred me to Paules, to seeke 
my dinner with Duke Humfrey ; but, when I came there, 
the olde souldiour was not vp. He is long a rising, 
thought I j but that's all one, for he that hath no money 
in his purse, must go dine with Sir John Best-be-trust, 
at the signe of the Chalke and Post. 


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Two hongry turnes had I scarce fetcht in this wast gal- 
lery, where I was encountered by a neat pedanticall fellow, 
in forme of a cittizen ; who thrusting himselfe abruptly in- 
to my companie, like an intelligencer, began very earnestly 
to question with mee about the cause of my discontent, 
or what made me so sad, that seemed too young to bee 
acquainted with sorrow. I, nothing nice to vnfold my 
estate to any what soeuer, discourst to him the whole 
circumstance of my care, and what toyll and paynes I had 
tooke in searching for him that woulde not bee heard of. 
Why, sir (quoth hee), had I been priuie to your purpose 
before, I could haue easd you of thys trauell ; for, if it 
be the deuill you seeke for, know I am his man. I pray, 
Non bene sir, how might I call you ? A knight of the post, quoth 
dunt"S^luria ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^ ^^ tearmed ; a fellow that will sweare you 
testes. any thing for twelve pence ; but, indeede, I am a spirite 

in nature and essence, that take vppon mee this humaine 
shape, onely to set men together by the eares, and send 
soules by millions to hell. 

Now, trust mee, a substantial trade; but when doe 
you send next to your master ? Why, euery day ; for 
there is not a cormorant that dyes, or cut-purse that is 
hangM, but I dispatch letters by his soule to him, and to 
all my friends in the low countreys : wherefore, if you 
haue anie thing that you would haue transported, giue it 
ine, and I will see it deliuered. 

Yes, marry haue I (quoth I) a certayne Supplication 
here to your master, which you may petuse if it please 
you. With that he opened it, and read as followeth : 


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To the High and Mightie Prince of Darknesse, 

Donsell dell Lucifer, King of Acheron, Styx, 

and Phlegeton, Duke of Tartary, Mar- 

quesse of Conytus, and Lord High 

Regent of Lymbo, his distressed 

Orator, Pierce Penilesse, wisheth 

encrease of damnation and 

malediction eternal, per 

Jesum Christum Do- 

minum Nostrum. 

Most humbly sueth unto your sinfulness your single 
soald orator, Pierce Penilesse : that whereas your impious 
excellence hath had the poore tennement of his purse any No : He be 
time this halfe yeere for your dauncing schoole, and he ^ ]^^i^ ^{[ue i 
(notwithstanding) hath received no peny nor crosse for '^^^* 
farme, according to the usuall manner, it may please your 
gracelesse Majestic to consider of him, and give order to 
your servant Avarice he may be dispatched; insomuch as 
no man heere in London can haue a dauncing schoole with- 
out rent, and his wit and knavery cannot be maintained 
with nothing. Or, if this be not so plausible to your 
honourable infemalship, it might seem good to your hel- 
hood to make extent upon the soules of a number of un- 
charitable cormorants, who, having incurd the daunger 
of a prcemunire with medling with matters that properly 
concerne your owne person, deserve no longer to live (as 
men) amongst men, but to bee incorporated in the society 
of divels. By which meanes the mighty controuler of 


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fortune and imperious subverter of destiny, delicious gold, 
the poore man^s god, and idoll of princes (that lookes 
pale and wanne through imprisonment) might at length 
be restored to bis powerful! monarchie, and eflsoon bee 
set at liberty, to helpe his friends that have neede of him. 
Id est, for the I knowe a great sort of good fellowes that would ven- 
gold. ^^^ f'*^'^® ^°^ ^^s freedom, and a number of needy lawyers 

(who now mourne in threed bare gownes for his thral- 
dome) that would go neere to poison his keepers with false 
Latine, if that might procure his enlargement ; but inex- 
orable yron detaines him in the dungeon of the night, so 
that now (poore creature) hee can neither trafique with 
the mercers and tailers as he was wont, nor dominere in 
tavernes as he ought 

Famine, Lent, and Dessolation, set in onion skind 
jackets before the doore of his indurance, as a chorus in 
tragedie of Hospitality, to tell Hunger and Poverty thers 
no reliefe for them there ; and in the inner part of this 
The descrip- Ugly habitation stands Greedinesse, prepared to devoure 
dine^ ^^ ^ *^*^ enter, attired in a capouch of written parchment, 
buttond downe before with labels of wax, and lined with 
sheepes fels for warmenes : his cappe furd with catskins, 
after the Muscovie fashion, and all to be tasseld with 
angle hookes, instead of aglets, ready to catch hold of all 
those to whom he shewes any humblenes : for his breeches, 
they were made of the lists of broad cloaths, which he 
had by letters pattents assured him and his heyres, to the 
utter overthrowe of bow-cases and cushin-makersj and 
bumbasted they were, like beer barrels, with statute mar- 
chants and forfeitures : but of all his shooes were the 
strangest, which, being nothing els but a couple of crab 
shels, were tooth'd at the toes with two sharp sixpeny 
nailes, that dig'd up every dunghill they came by for 
gold, and snarl'd at the stones as he went in the street, 
because they were so common for men, women, and chil- 


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dren, to tread upon, and he could not devise how to wrest 
an odde fine out of any of them. 

Thug walkes he up and downe all his life time, with 
an yron crow in his hand instead of a sta£Fe, and a satjants 
mace in his mouth, (which night and day he gnawd upon) 
and either busies himselfe in setting silver lime twigs, to 
entangle young gentlemen, and casting foorth silken 
shraps, to catch woodcocks, or in syving of Muck-hills 
and shop-dust, whereof he will boult a whole cart load 
to gain a bowM pinne. 

On the other side, Dame Niggardize, his wife, in a The descrip- 
sedge rugge kirtle, that had beene a matte time out of Jj?" ""l^,^^^ 
mind, a course hempen rayle about her shoulders, bor- 
rowed of the one ende of a hop beg, an apron made of 
almanackes out of date, (such as stand vpon screenes, or 
on the backside of a dore in a chandlers shop) and an 
olde wiues pudding pan on her head, thrumd with the 
parings of her nayles, sate barrelling vp the droppings of 
her nose, in steed of oyle, to sayme wool withall, and 
would not aduenture to spit without halfe a dozen of 
porrengers at her elbow. 

The house, (or rather the hell) where these two earth- 
wormes encaptiued this beautifuU substaunce, was vast, 
large, strong built, and well furnished, all save the 
kitchin ; for that was no bigger than the cooks roome in 
a ship, with a little court chimney, about the compasse 
of a parenihe$i8 in proclamation-print : then judge you 
what diminutiue dishes came out of this doues-neast. So, 
likewise, of the buttrie ; for whereas in houses of such 
stately foundation, that are built to outward shewe so 
magnificent, euerie office is answerable to the hall, which 
is principall, there the buttrie was no more but a blind 
cole-house, vnder a paire of stayres, wherein (vprising 
and downe lying) was but one single kilderkin of small 
beere, that would make a man, with a carrouse of a 


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spooneful, runne through an alphabet of faces. Nor usd 
they any glasses or cups (as other men), but onely little 
farthing ounce boxes, whereof one of them fild vp with 
froath ^n manner and forme of an alehouse) was a 
meales allowance for the whole houshold. It were 
lamentable to tell what miserie the rattes and myce 
endured in this hard world ; how, when all supply of 
victualls fayled them, they went a boot-haling one night 
to Sinior Greedinesse bed-chamber, where, finding no- 
thing but emptinesse and vastitie, they encountred 
(after long inquisition) with a cod-peece, well dunged 
and manured with greace (which my pinch-fart penie* 
father had retaind from his Bachelorship, vntill the eat- 
ing of these presents). Vppon that they set, and with 
a couragious assault rent it cleane away from the 
breeches^ and then carried it in triumph, like a coffin, on 
their shoulders betwixt them. The verie spiders and 
dust-weauers, that wont to set vp their loomes ill euerie 
windowe^ decayed and vndone through the extreame 
dearth of the place, (that affoorded them no matter to 
worke on) were constrained to breake, against their 
wills, and goe dwell in the countrey, out of the reach of 
the broome and the wing : and generally, not a flea nor 
a cricket that caried anie braue minde, that would stay 
there after he had once tasted the order of their fare. 
Onely unfortunate golde (a predestinate slaue to drudges 
and fooles) lines in endlesse bondage there amongst them, 
and may no way be releast, except you send the rot halfe 
a yeare amongst his keepers, and so make them away 
with a murrion, one after another. 
The com- O ! but a farre greater enormitie raigneth in the heart 

^^^de ^^ ^^ *^® ^^^'^ • ^"^®> ^'^® peruerter of all vertue, sitteth 
apparailed in the merchants spoyles, and mine of yong 
citizens, and scorneth learning, that gaue their vp-start 
fathers titles of gentrie. 


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All malcontent sits the greasie sonne of a cloathier. The nati\re of 
and complaines (like a decayed carle) of the mine of *° "P***""' 
ancient houses ; whereas, the weauers loomes first framed 
the web of his honour, and the locks of wool, that bushes 
and brambles haue tooke for toule of insolent sheepe 
that would needs striue for the wall of a fir-bush, haue 
made him of the tenths of their tarre, a squier of low de- 
gree; and of the collections of the scatterings, a justice, 
Tarn Marti quam Mercurioj of peace and of coram. Hee 
will bee humorous, forsooth, and haue a broode of fashions 
by himselfe. Somtimes (because Love commonly wears the 
liuerie of Wit) hee will be an Inamorato Poeta^ and son- 
net a whole quire of paper in praise of Ladie Manibetter, 
his yeolowfac'd mistres, and wear a feather of her rain- 
beaten £Emne for a fauor, like a fore-horse. All Italio* 
naio is his talke, aud his spade peake is as sharpe as if 
he had been a pioner before the walls of Roan. Hee will 
despise the barbarisme of his owne countrey, and tell a 
whole legend of lyes of his trauayles vnto Constantinople* 
If he be challenged to fight from his delaterie dye-case, 
hee obiects that it is not the custome of tlie Spaniard, or 
the Germaine, to looke backe to euerie dog that barkes* 
You shall see a dapper Jacke^ that hath beene but once 
at Deepe, wring his face round about, as a man would 
stirre vp a mustard pot, and talke English through the 
teeth, like Jaques Scabd-hams, or Monsieur Mingo de 
Moustrapo ; when (poore slaue) he hath but dipt his bread 
in wylde boares greace, and come home againe, or been 
bitten by the shinnes by a wolfe ; and saith, he hath ad- 
ventured vppon the barricadoes of Gurney, or Guingan, 
and fought with the yong Guise hand to hand. 

Some thinke to be counted rare politicians and statesmen. The counter- 
by beeing solitarie : as who should say, I am a wise man, '^'^ politician. 
a braue man, Secreta mea miM : frustra sapitf qui sibi 
non sapit ; and there is no man worthie of my companie or 



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friendship^ when, although he goes vngaitned like a male- 
content cutpursse, and weares his hat oner his eyes lyke 
one of the cursed crue, yet cannot his stabbing dagger^ 
or his nittie loue-locke, keepe him out of the legend of 
fantasticall cockscombes. I pray ye, good Mounsier 
Diuell, take some order, that the streetes be not pestered 
with them so as they are. Is it not a pitiful thing that 
a fellow that eates not a good meales meat in a weeke, 
but beggereth his belly quite and cleane, to make his 
backe a certain kind of brokerly gentleman, and nowe 
and then (once or twice in a tearme) comes to the 
eighteene pence ordenarie, because hee would be scene 
amongst caualiers and braue courtyers, lyuing otherwise 
all the yeere long with salt butter and Holland cheese in 
his chamber, shoulde take vppe a scomf ull, melancholike 
course in his gate and countenance, and talke as though 
our common- wealth were but a mockery of gouernment^ 
and our majestrates fooles, who, wronging him in not 
looking into his deserts, not imploying him in state 
matters, and that, if more regard were not had of him 
very shortly, the whole realme should have a misse of 
him, and he would go (I mary would he) where he should 
be more accounted off. 

Is it not wonderfuU ill-prouided, I say, that this dis- 
dainfuU companion is not made one of the fratemitie of 
fooles, to talke before great states, with some olde mothe- 
eaten polititian, of mending high waies, and leading 
armies into Fraunce. 
The prodigall A young heyre, or cockney, that is his mothers darling, 
young mas- j£ j^^ ^^^^^ playde the waste-good at the Innes of the 
Court, or about London, and that neither his students 
pension, nor his outhrifts credite, will seme to maintaine 
his coUidge of whores any longer, falles in a quarrelling 
humor with his fortune, because she made him not king 
of the Indies, and sweares and stares, after ten in the 


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hundreth, that nere a such pesant, aa his father or brother, 
shall keep him vnder : he will go to the sea« and teare 
the gold out of the Spanyards throats, but he will haue 
it, byrlady : and when he comes there, poore soule, hee 
lyes in brine, in balist, and is lamentable sicke of the 
scurvyes ; his dayntie fSeu-e is turned to a hungry feast of 
dogs and cats, or haberdine and poore John, at the most ; 
and, which is lamentablest of all, that without mustard. 

As a mad ruffion, on a time, being in daunger of ship- 
wrack by a tempest, and seeing all other at their vowes 
and praiers, that if it would please God, of his infinite 
goodnesse, to deliuer them out of that imminent daunger, 
one woulde abiure this sinne, whereunto he was adicted ; 
an other, make satisfaction for that vyolence he had 
committed ; he, in a desperate jest, began thus to recon- 
cile his soule to heauen, *'0 Liord 1 if it may seeme good 
to thee to deliuer me from this feare of vntimely death, 
I vowe before thy throne, and all thy starry host, neuer 
to eate haberdine more whilst I Hue/' 

Well, so it fell out, that the sky cleared and the 
tempest ceased, and this carelesse wretch, that made such 
a mockery of praier, ready to set foote a land, cried 
out: Not without mustard, good lord! not without 
mustard; as though it had been the greatest torment 
in the world to haue eaten haberdine without mustard. 
But this by the way, what pennance can be greater for 
pride, than to let it swinge in hys owne halter ? Dtike 
beUum tneaperiis : theres no man loues the smoake of his 
owne countrey that hath not been syngde in the flame 
. of an other soyle. It is a pleasant thing, ouer a fulle 
pot, to read the fable of thirsty Tantalus, but a hard 
matter to disgest salt meates at sea, with stinking 

Another misery of pride it is, when men that haue The pride of 
good parts, and beare the name of deepe scholers, cannot ^**® iea»^n«a- 



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be content to participate one faith with all Christendome, 
but, because they will get a name to their vaineglory, 
they will set their self loue to study to inuent new sects 
of singularities thinking to liue when they are dead, by 
hauing theyr sect called after their names ; as Donatists 
of Donatus, Arrianus of Arrius, and a number more new 
faith-founders, that haue made England the exchange of 
innouations, and almost as much confusion of religion in 
euerie quarter, as there was of tongues at the building of 
the Tower of Babell. Whence, a number that fetch the 
articles of their beleefe out of Aristotle, and thinke of 
heauen and hell as the heathen philosophers, take occa- 
sion to deride our eclesiasticall state, and all ceremonies 
of diuine worship, as bug-beares and scar-crowes, be- 
cause (like Herodes souldiers) we diuide Christs garment 
amongest vs in so manie peeces, and of the vesture of 
saluation make some of us babies and apes coates,' others 
straight trusses and diuells breeches, some gaily gas- 
Coynes, or a shipmans hose ; like the Anabaptists and 
adulterous Familists, others with the Martinists, a hood 
with two faces, to hide their hypocrisie, and, to conclude, 
some, like the Barrowists and Greenwoodians, a garment 
fill of the plague, which is not to be worn before it be 
ney^ washt. 

Hence atheists triumph and reioyce, and talke as pro- 

phanely of the Bible, as of Beuis of Hampton. I heare 

say there be mathematitians abroad that will prooue men 

before Adam ; and they are harboured in high places, 

who will maintayne it, to the death, that there are no 


Thedevill It is a shame {Senior Belzibub) that you shoulde 

(as other ^^'^ suffer yourselfe thus to be tearmed a bastard, or not ap- 

nien), but proue to your predestinate children, not only that they 

know their ^'^"® ^ father, but that you are hee that must owne them. 

owne father. Xhese are but the suburbes of the sinne we haue in hand : 

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I must describe to you a large cittie, wlioly inhabited 
with this damnable enormitie. 

In one place let me shewe you a base artificer, that The pride of 
hath no reuenues to host on but a needle in his bosome, " * **"' 
as braue as any pensioner or nobleman. 

In an other comer, Mistris Minx, a marchants wife. The pride of 
that will eate no cherries, forsooth, but when they are at ^jves. 
twentie shillings a pound, that lookes as simperingly as 
if she were besmeard, and iets it as gingerly as if she 
were dancing the canaries, she is so finicall in her speach, 
as though she spake nothing but what she had first sewd 
ouer before in her samplers, and the puling accent of her 
Yoyce 16 like a fained treble, or ones voyce that interprets 
to the puppets. What should I tell how squeamish she is 
in her dyet, what toyle she puts her poore seruants vnto, 
to make her looking glasses in the pauement? how she 
wil not goe into the fieldes, to cowre on the greene grasse, 
but shee must haue a coatch for hir convoy, and spends 
halfe a day in pranking her self, if shee bee inuited to 
anie strange place? Is not this the excesse of pride, 
Signior Sathan ? Goe too ; you are vnwise, if you make 
her not a chiefe saint in yomr calender* ^ 

The next obiect that encounters my eyes, is some such The pride of 
obscure vpstart gallants as, without desert or seruice, are JJ^^ng up of 
raised from the plough to be checkmate with princes : nothing, 
and these I can no better compare than to creatures that 
are bred sine coitu, as crickets in chimnyes ; to which I 
resemble poore scuUians, that, from turning spit in the 
chimney comer, are on the »odayne hoysed vp from the 
kitchen into the wayting chamber, or made barons of the 
beanes, and marquesses of the mary-boanes : some by 
corrupt water, as gnats, to which we may liken brewers, 
that, by retayling filthie Thames water, come in few 
yeres to be worth fortie or fiftie thousand pound : others 
by dead wine, as little flying wormes ; and so the vintners 


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in like ease : others by slime, as frogs, which may be al- 
luded to Mother Bunches slymie ale, that hath made her, 
and some other of her fil pot familie so wealthier others 
by dirt, as wormes, and so I know manie gold-finders 
and hostlers come vp : some by hearbs, as cankers, and 
after the same sort our apothecaries : others by ashes, as 
scarabes, and how else get our colliers the pence ? others 
from the putrified flesh of dead beasts, as bees of bulls, 
and butchers by fly-blowne beefe, waspes of horses, and 
haekney-men by selling their lame iades to huntsmen, for 
Sparagus a Yet am I not against it, that these men by their me- 
never ^row- chanicall trades should come to be sparage gentlemen 
thr ^"h '^^ chufip-headed Burghomasters; but that better places 

man's dung, should bee possessed by coystrells, and the coblers crowe, 
for crying but ave C^esar^ be more esteemed than rarer 
birds, that haue warbled sweeter notes vnrewarded. But 
it is no mervaile ; for, as hemlocke fatteth quayles, and 
henbane swine, which to all other is poyson, so some 
mens vices haue power to aduance them, which would 
subuert anie else that should seeke to clymbe by them ; 
and it is inough in them, that they can pare their nayles 
well, to get them a lining, when as the seauen liberall 
sciences and a good legge, will scarse get a scholler bread 
and cheese. 

These whelpes of the first lytter of gentilitie, these ex- 
halations, drawen vp to the heauen of honour from the 
dunghill of abiect fortune, haue long been on horsebacke 
to come riding to your diuellship ; but, I know not how, 
lyke Saint George, they are alwaies mounted but neuer 
moue. Here they out-face towne and countrey, and doo 
^ nothing but handle factions with their betters. Their 

bigge limbes yeeld the common-wealth no other seruice 
but idle sweate, and their heads, like rough hewen 
gloabes, are fit for nothing but to be the blockhouses for 


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sleepe. Raynold, the fox, may well beare yp his tayle 
in the lyons denne, but when he comes abroad, he is 
afraide of euerie dogge that barkes. What curre will 
not bawle; and be readie to flye in a mans face, when he 
is set on by his master, who, if bee bee not by to encou- 
rage him, he casts his tayle betwixt his legges, and steales 
away like a sheepe-byter. Ulisses was a tall man vnder 
Aiax shield, but by himselfe bee would neuer aduenture 
but in the night. Pride is neuer built but vppon some 
pillers; and let his supporters faile him neuer so little, 
you shall finde him verie humble in the dust. Wit often- 
times stands in steade of a chiefe arche to vnderprop it, 
in souldiers strength, in women beautie. 

Drudges, that haue no extraordinarie giftes of bodie The base in- 
ner of minde, filche themselues into some noble-mans djj|,d*ge^^ and 
seruice, either by bribes or by flatterie, and, when they their practise 
are there, they so labour it with cap and knee, and ply it 
with priuie whisperinges, that they wring themselues 
into his good opinion ere he be aware. Then, doo they 
vaunt themselues ouer the common multitude, and are 
readie to braue anie man that stands by himselfe. Their 
lords authoritie is as a rebater to beare vp the peacockes 
%yle of their boasting, and anie thing that is said or 
done to the vnhandsoming of their ambition is straight 
wrested to the name of treason. Thus doo weedes grow 
vp whiles no man regards them, and the ship of fooles is 
arriued in the hauen of felicitie, whilest the scoutes of 
envie contemne the attempts of anye such small barkes. 

But beware you that be great mens fauorites : let not 
a seruile, insinuating slaue, creep betwixt your legs into 
credit with your lords ; for pesants that come out of the 
colde of pouertie, once cherisht in the bosome of prospe- 
ritie, will straight forget that euer there was a winter of 
want, or who gaue them roome to warme them. The 
son of a churle cannot choose but prooue vngrateful, like 


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his father. Trust not a villaine that hath been mise- 
rable, and is sodainely growen happie. Vertue aseendeth 
by degrees of desert vnto dignitie : golde and lust may 
lead a man a nearer way to promotion^ but he that 
hath neither comelinesse nor coyne to commend him. 

As by carry, vndoubtedly strydes ouer time by stratagems, if of a 
mcr tales, or _,,.,, , ^ ^ . • x 

playing the moaie-nili hee growes to a mountame m a moment. 

doutypandor. xhis is that which I vrge: there is no frendship to be 

had with him that is resolute to doo or suffer any thing 

rather than to endure the destenie whereto he was borne ; 

for he will not spare his owne father or brother to make 

^ himselfe a gentleman. 

The pride of Fraunce, Italy, and Spaine, are all full of these false- 
hearted Machiuillians ; but properly pride is the disease 
of the Spaniard, who is bom a braggart in his mother's 
womb ; for, if he be but 17 yeares olde, and hath come 
to the place where a field was fought, (though halfe a 
yeare before) hee then talkes like one of the giants that 
made warre against heaven, and stands vpon his honor, 
as much as if he were one of Augustus souldiers, of 
whom he first instituted the Order of Heralds : and let a 
man sooth him in this vayne of kilcowe vanitie, you maye 
commaund his heart out of his belly to make you a 
rasher on the coales, if you will next your heart. 

The pride of The Italian is a more cunning proud fellow, and hides 

tie ta lan. ^ y^ humor farre cleanlier, and, indeed, seemes to take a 
pride in humilitie, and will profer a straunger more cur- 
tesie than he meanes to performe. Hee hateth him 
deadly that takes him at his word : as, for example, if 
vpon an occasion of meeting he request you to dinner or 
supper at his house, and that at the first or second in- 
treatie you promise to be his guest, he will be the mor- 
talst enemie you haue : but if you deny him, he will 
think you have manners and good bringing vp, and will 
loue you as his brother : marry, at the thirde or fourth 


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time you must not refuse him. Of all things he counteth 

it a mightie disgrace to haue a man passe justling by 

him in hast on a narrow causey, and aske him no leaue, 

which hee neuer reuengeth with lesse than the stab. ^ 

The Frenchman (not altered from his owne nature) is 

wholly compact of deceiuable courtship, and (for the 

most part) loues none but himselfe and his pleasure : 

yet though he be the most Grand Signeur of them all, he l.^^e ,P"^®. ^^ 
.„ ^ . . . . the French- 

Will say^ A vostre service et cammandemenie monsteur, to man. 

the meanest vassaile he meetes. He thinkes he doth a 
great fauour to that gentleman, or follower of his, to 
whom hee talkes sitting on his close stoole : and with 
that &uour (I have heard) the princes wonted to grace 
the noble men of Fraunce ; and a great man of their na- 
tion comming (in time past) ouer into England, and 
being here verie honorably receiued^ hee, in requital of 
his admirable entertainment, on an euening going to the 
privie, (as it were to honour extraordinarielie our Eng- 
lish lords appointed to attend ypon him) gaue one the 
candle, another his girdle, and another the paper : but 
they (not acquainted with this newe kinde of gracing) 
accompanying him to the privie dore, set downe the 
trash, and so left liim ; which hee (considering what 
inestimable kindnesse he extended to them therein more 
than vsuall) took very hainouslie. 

The most grosse and senselesse proud dolts (in a dijBTe^ fhe pride of ' 
rence from all these kindes) are the Danes, who stande ^^^ ^"®" 
80 much vpon their vnweldie burlibound souldiery, that 
they account of no man that hath not a battle axe at his 
girdle to hough dogs with, or weares not a cock's fether 
in a thrumb hat like a caualier : briefly, he is the best 
foole bragart vnder heauen. For, besides, nature hath 
lent him a flabberkin face, like one of the foure windes, 
and cheekes that sagge like a woman's dugges ouer his 
chin-bone, his apparailc is so pufl vp with bladders of 


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If you know 
him not by 
any of these 
markSftook on 
his fingers, 
and you shall 
bee sure to 
find halfe a 
do7en situer 
rings, worth 
three pence a 

The Danes 
enemies to al 

No rewards 
among them 
for desert. 

tajBTatie, and his backe (like biefe stuft with parlsey) so 
drawne out with ribands and deuises, and blisterd with 
light sarcenet bastings, that you would thinke him no* 
thing but a swarme of butterflyes, if you saw him a farre 
off. llius walkes hee vp and downe in his maiestie, 
taking a yard of ground at euery step, and stampes on 
the earth so terrible, as if he ment to knock vp a spirite, 
when (foule drunken bezzle) if an Englishman set his 
little finger to him, he falls like a hogVtrough that is 
set on one end* Therefore, I am the more vehement 
against them, because they are an arrogant asse-headed 
people, that naturally hate learning, and all them that 
loue it : yea, and for they would vtterly roote it out from 
amongst them, they haue with-drawen all rewards from 
the professors thereof. Not Barbary it selfe is halfe so 
barbarous as they are. 

First, whereas the hope of honour roaketh a souldier in 
England : byshopricks, deanries, prebendaries, and other 
priuate dignities animate our diuines to such excellence : 
the ciuill lawyers haue their degrees and consistories of 
honour by themselves, equall in place with knights and 
esquiers : the common lawyers (suppose in the beginning 
they are but husbandmen's sonnes) come in time to be 
the chiefe fathers of the land, and many of them not the 
meanest of the Privie Counsell. 

There, the souldiour may fight himselfe out of his 
skinne, and doe more exployits than hee hath doyts in 
his purse, before from a common mercenary hee come to 
bee corporall of the mould cheese, or the lieftennant gette 
a captainship. None but the sonne of a corporall must 
bee a corporall, nor any be captaine but the lawfull 
begotten of a captaine's body. Byshops, deanes, preben- 
daries, why they know no such functions : a sort of ragged 
ministers they haue, of whom they account as basely as 
waterbearers. If any of the noblemen refrayn three 


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howers in his life time from drinking, to study the lawes^ 
he may, perhaps, haue a little more gouemment put in 
his hands than an other ; but, otherwise, burgomasters 
and gentlemen beare the sway of both swords, spiritual 
and temporall. It is death there for any but a husband- 
man to marrie a husbandman's daughter, or a gentle- 
man's childe to ioyne with any but the sonne of a gen- 
tleman« Mary thys, the king may well banish, but he 
cannot put a gentleman to death in any cause whatso- 
soeuer, which makes them stand yppon it so proudly as 
they doe. For fashion sake some will put their children 
to schoole, but they set them not to it till they are four- 
teene yeare old ; so that you shall see a great boy with a 
beard leame his ABC, and sit weeping vnder the rod 
when he is thirty yeeres olde. 

I will not stand to inferre what a preiudice it is to the What it is to 
thrift of a florishing state, to poyson the groth of glory, "fthout hope, 
by giuing it nought but the puddle water of penury to 
drinke ; to clippe the wings of a high towring faulcon, 
who, whereas she wont in her feathered youthfulnesse, 
to looke with amiable eye on her gray breast, and her 
speckled side sayles, all sinnowed with siluer quilles, and 
to driue whole armies of fearfuU foules before her to her 
master^s table; now shee sits sadly on the ground, 
picking of wormes, mourning the cruelty of those vngen^ 
tleman-like idle hands, that dismembreth the beauty of 
her trayne. 

You all know that man (in so much as hee is the image 
of God) delighteth in honour and worship ; and al holy 
writ warrants that delight, so it bee not derogatory to 
any part of God's owne worship. Now, take away that 
delight, a discontented idlenesse ouertakes him. For his 
hyre, any handicraft man, be he carpenter joyner or 
paynter, will plodingly do his day-labor; but to adde 
credit and fame to his workmanship, or to winne a mas- 


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And that 
sense often 
times maks 
them sence- 

flowers need 
much water- 

And will in- 
dure all wea- 
thers as wel 
as they. 
They may 
well be called 
since the 
beauty they 
imitate is 
fey ted. 

tery to himselfe aboue all other, hee will make a further 
assay in his trade than euer hitherto hee did : hee will 
haue a thousand florishesy which before hee neuer thought 
vpon, and in one day rid more out of hand than erst he 
did in ten. So in armes, so in arts : if ty ties of fame and 
glory bee proposed to forward mindes, or that any soue* 
reigntie (whose sweetnes they haue not yet felt) bee set 
in likely view for them to sore to, they will make a 
ladder of cord of the links of their braines, but they wil 
fasten their hands, as wel as their eies, on the imaginatiue 
blisse, which they already enioy by admiration. Expe* 
rience reproues me for a fool, for delating on so manifest 
a case. 

The Danes are bursten -bellied sots, that are to be 
confuted with nothing but tankerds or quart pots, and 
Ovid might as wel haue read his verses to the Getes that 
vnderstood him not, as a man talke reason to them that 
haue no eares but their mouthes, nor sense but of that 
which they swallow downe their throates. God so loue 
mee, as I loue the quickwitted Italians, and therefore 
loue them the more, because they mortally detest this 
surley swinish generation. 

I neede not fetch colours from other countreyes to 
paint the vgly visage of Pride, since her picture is set 
foorth in so manie painted faces here at home. What 
drugs, what sorceries, what oyles, what waters, what 
oyntments, doo our curious dames vse to enlarge their 
wythered beauties. Their lips are as lauishly red, as if 
they vsed to kisse an okerman euery morning, and their 
cheekes suger-candyed and cherry blusht so sweetly after 
the colour of a newe Lord Mayor's posts, as if the pageant 
of their wedlocke holiday were hard at the doore ; so that 
if a painter were to drawe anie of their counterfets on a 
table, he needes no more but wet his pencill, and dab it 
on their cheekes, and he shall haue vermillion and white 
enough to furnish out his work, though he leaue his tar« 


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:. boxe at home behinde him. Wise w£ts that sin- washing Marke these 

poet that made the ballet of Blue Starch and Poaking [^pin^^^^ 

Stickes, for, indeed, the lawne of licentiousnesse hath phors, good 

consumed all the wheate of hospitalitie. It is saide, So^saleth the 

Lawrence Lucifer, that you went vp and downe London learned Poli- 

1., 1 1 « , .1 ^^^^^^ Rime- 

crymg then like alanteme and ceuidle man. I meruaile rusjn his first 

no laundresse would giue you the washing and starching ^g^anJ^^rst 
of your face for your labour, for God knowes it is as fine of hys 
blacke as the Blacke Prince. starch.*' ^^ 

It is suspected you haue been a great tobacco-taker in The devill a 
your youth, which causeth it to come so to passe ; but S^ker. *^*^ 
Dame Nature, your nurse, was partly in fault, else she 
might haue remedied it. She should haue noynted your A medicine to 
face ouer night with lac virgtrds^ which, bakeing vpon it "^ ^jjj® ^^ 
in bed till the morning, she might haue pild off the scale 
like the skin of a custard ; and making a posset of vergis 
mixt with the oyle of Tartary and camphire, and bathde 
it in it a quarter of an houre, and you had been as faire 
as the floure of the frying-pan. I warrant, we haue old 
hacksters in this great grandmother of corporations, Ma- 
dam Troynonant, that haue not backbited anie of their 
neighbours with the tooth of en vie this twentie yeare, in He that wipes 
the wrinckles of whose face yee may hide false dice, and u'**u ^u^^jf^**^* 
play at cherry pit in the dint of their cheekes ; yet these shall forfeit 
aged mothers of iniquitie will haue their deformities newe ^^J^ 
plaistered ouer, and weare nosegayes of yeolow haire on 
their furies forheads, when age hath written, Hoe ! God, 
be here ! on their bald, burnt, parchment pates. Pish, 
pish ! what taike you of olde age or balde pates? Men Alias, Mother 
and women that haue gone vnder the south pole, must CofnelmsMe- 
lay of theyr furre night- caps in spyght of their teeth, and 
become yeomen of the vineger bottle : a close periwig 
hides al the sinnes of an old whore-master ; but cucidlus Translated 
non facU monachum — 'tis not their newe bonnets will word for 
keepe them from the old boan-ach. Ware when a man's originalem. 


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sitrnes are written on his ey-browes, and that there is not 

a hayre bredth betwixt them and the falling sicknesse* 

The times are dangerous, and this is an yron age ; or 

rather no yron age, for swords and bucklers goe to pawne 

apace in Long Lane, but a tinne age, for tinne and pew* 

ter are more esteemed than Latine. You that be wise, 

despise it, abhorre it, neglect it, for what should a man 

care for golde that cannot get it. 

An antiquarie is an honest man, for he had rather 

The commen- scrape a peece of copper out of the durt, than a crowne 

dation of An- Qy^j qJ Ploidon's standish. I know manie wise gentlemen 
tequanes. , *=' 

Laudamus of this mustie vocation, who, out of loue with the times 

nwtris utlmur "^^^^^^^^ ^^7 1^^®* ^^ ^ retayling of Alexander's stirrops, 

annifl. because (in veritie) there is not such a strong peece of 

stretching leather made now adaies, nor yron so well 

tempred for anie mony. They will blow their nose in a 

box, and say it is the spettle that Diogenes spet in ones 

face, who, being inuited to dinner to his house, that was 

neate and braue in all poynts as might be deuised, and 

the grunting dog, somwhat troubled with the rheume (by 

meanes of his long fasting, and staying for for dinner more 

than wont), spet full in his host's face ; and, being askt 

the reason of it, said it was the foulest place he could 

spie out in all his house. Let their mistres (or some 

other woman) giue them a fether of her fanne for a 

fauour, and if one aske them what it is, they make an- 

swere a plume of the Phenix, wherof there is but one in 

the whole world. A thousand jymiams and toyes haue 

they in theyr chambers, which they heape vp together, 

with infinite expehce, and are made beleeue of them that 

sel them, that they are rare and precious things, when 

they haue gathered them vp on some dunghill, or rakte 

them out of the kennell by chaunce. I knowe one sold 

an olde rope with foure knots on it for foure pound, in 

that he gaue it out, it was the length and bredth of 


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Christ's tomb. Let a tinker take a peece of brasse worth 
a halfpenie, and set strange stampes on it, and I warrant 
he may make it more worth to him of some fantasticall 
fbole, than all the kettels that euer he mended in his life. 
This is the disease of our new-fangled humorists, that 
know not what to doo with their wealth. It argueth a 
yerie rustic wit, so to doate on worm-eaten elde. 

Out vpon it ! how long is Pride a dressing herselfe? The com- 
Enuie, awake ! for thou must appeare before Nicholao |^^"* ° 
MalevoIOf great muster-master of hel. Mark you this 
sly mate, how smoothly he lookes ? The poets were ill 
aduised that fained him to be a leane, gag-toothed bel- 
dame, with hollow eyes, pale cheekes, and snakie haire i 
for hee is not onely a man, but a iolly, lustie, olde gentle- 
man, that will wink, and laugh, and iest drily, as if he 
were the honestest of a thousand ; and, I warrant, you 
shall not heare a foule word come from him in a yeare. 
I will not contradict it, but the dog may worrie a sheepe 
in the darke, and thrust his neck into the collar of cle- 
mencie and pitie when he hath done ; as who should say, 
Grod forgive him ! he was a sleep in the shambles, when 
the innocent was done to death. But openly, Enuie sets 
a ciuill, fatherly countenaunce vpon it, and hath not so 
much as a drop of bloud in his &ce to attaint him of 
murther. I thought it expedient, in this my Supplica- . 
tion, to place it next vnto Pride, for it is his adopted 
Sonne : and hence comes it that proud men repine at 
others prosperitie, and grieue that anie should be great 
but themselues. Mens cuf usque, is est quisque ; it is a 
prouerbe that is as hoarie as Dutch-butter. If a man 
will goe to the diuell, he may goe to the diuell : there 
are a thousand iugling trickes to be vsed at Hey, passe, 
come aloft I and the world hath cords enough to trusse 
vp a calfe that stands in ones way. Enuie is a crocodyle 
that weepes when he kills, and fights with none but he 


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feedes on. This is the nature of this quicksigbted 
monster : — he will endure anie paines to endamage an- 
other ; wast his bodie with vndertaking exploytes that 
would require ten men's strengths, rather than any should 
get a penie but himselfe ; bleare his eyes to stand in his 
neighbor'^s light, and, to conclude, like Atlas vnderprop 
heauen, rather than anie should be in heauen that he 
likde not of, or come to heauen by anie other meanes 
but by him. 
r You, goodman wandrer about the world,^ how do ye 
spend your time, that you doo not rid vs of these pesti- 
lent members ? You are vnworthie to haue an office, if 
you can execute it no better. Behold another enemie of 
mankind, besides thy selfe, exalted in the south, — ^Philip of 
Phillip of Spaine ; who, not contented to be the god of gold and 
cfeaTan^cne- chiefest commaunder of content that Europe affords, but 
my to man- now he doth nothing but thirst after humane blood, when 
devil. 1^ foote is on the threshold of the graue : and as a wolfe, 

beeing about to deyoure a horse, doth balist his belly with 
earth, that he may hang the heavier vpon him, and then 
forcibly flyes in his face, neuer leaning his hold till he 
hath eaten him vp ; so this woluish vnnatural usurper, 
being about to deuoure all Christendome by inuasion, 
doth cramme his treasures with Indian earth to make 
his malice more forcible, and then flyes in the bosome of 
France and Belgia; neuer withdrawing his forces (as the 
wolfe his fastning) till hee hath deuoured their welfare, 
and made the war-wasted carcases of both kingdomes a 
pray for his tyrannie. Onely poore England giues him 
bread for his cake, and holds him out at the armes end. 
His Armados (that, like a high wood, ouer-shadowed the 
shrubs of our lowe ships) fled from the breath of our 
cannons, as vapors before the sunne, or as the elephant 
flyes from the ramme, or the sea-whale from the noyse 
of parched bones. The winds, enuying that the aire 


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should be dimmed with such a chaos of woodden clowdes^' 
raised yp high bulwarkes of bellowing waues, where 
Death shot at their disorderd nauie; and the rockes 
with their ouer-hanging jawes, eate vp all the fragments 
of oake that they left. So perisht our foes, so the 
heauens did fight for vs — Prceterit HippameneSy resonant 
speciacuda platisu. 

I doo not doubt (Doctor Diuell) but you were prefeut 
in this action, or passion, rather, and helpt to bore holes 
in ships to make them sink faster ; andrence out galley- 
foysts with salt water, that stanke like fustie barrells 
with their masters' feare. It will bee a good while ere 
you doo as much for the king, as you did for his subjects. 
I would haue ye perswade an armie of goutie usurers to 
goe to sea yppon a boon voyage : trye if you can tempt 
Enuie to embark himselfe in the maladuenture, and 
leaue troubling the streame, that poets and good fellowes 
may drinke, and souldiers sing placebo, that haue mur- 
mured so long at the waters of strife. 

But that will neuer be ; for as long as Pride, Ryot, 
and Whoredome are the companions of yong courtiers, 
they will alwayes be hungrie, and readie to bite at anie 
dogge that hath a boane giuen him beside themselues. 
Jesu ! what secret grudge and rancour raignes amongst 
them, one beeing readie to despaire of himselfe, if hee 
see the prince but giue his fellow a faire look, or to dye 
for greefe if hee bee put downe in brauerye neuer so 
little. Yet this custome haue our false harts fetcht from 
other countries, that they wil sweare and protest loue 
where they hate deadly, and smile on him most kindly^ 
whose subuersion in soule they haue vowed. Fraus sub* 
linii regnai in aula — 'Tis rare to find a true friend in 
kings' pallaces : eyther thou must be so miserable that 
thou fall into the hands of scornfuU pittie, or thou canst 
not escape the stinge of enuy. In one thought, assem- 



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ble the fiEtinous men of all ages, and tell mee which of 
them all sat in the sunneshine of his soueraigne's grace, 
or wext great of lowe beginnings, but hee was spite- 
blasted, heau'd at, and ill spoken of, and that of those 
that bare them most countenance. But were Enuy 
nought but words, it might seeme to be onely women's 
Murder, the sinne ; but it hath a lewde mate hanging on his sleeue, 
wjropanion of ^^^^ Murther, a steme feUow, that (like a Spanyard in 
fight) aymeth all at the heart : hee hath more shapes 
than Proteus, and will shift himselfe, vppon any occa- 
sion of reuengement, into a man's dish, his drinke, his 
apparell, his rings, his stirhops, his nosgay. 
Italic the O Italic, the academic of man-slaughter, the sporting 

firmurd"ero^ V^^^ ^^ murtlier, the apothecary -shop of poyson for all 
inventions. nations! how many kind of weapons hast thou inuented 
for malice ! Suppose I loue a man's wife, whose hus- 
band yet Hues, and cannot enioy her for his iealous ouer- 
looking, phisicke, or, rather, the art of murther, (as it 
may be vsed) will lend one a medicine, which shall 
make him away in nature of that disease hee is most 
subiect too, whether in the space of a yeere, a moneth, 
halfe a yeere, or what tract of time you will, more or 

In Rome the papall chayre is washt, euery fine yeere 

at the furthest, with this oyle of aconitum. I pray God, 

the Kinge of Spayne feasted not our holy father Sextus, 

that was last, with such conserve of henbane ; for it was 

credibly reported hee loued him not, and thys, that is 

nowe, is a god made with his owne hands ; as it may ap- 

peare by the pasquill that was set vp of him, in a man- 

Tlie pasquill ner of a note, presently after his election — SoL Re. Me. Fa. 

made'^ujon *^^* ^^ ^ ^V' Solus Rex Me Facit, onely the King of 

this last Pope. Spayne made me pope. I am no chronicler from our 

owne countrey, but if probible suspition might be heard 

vpon his oath, I thinke some men's soules would be 


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canonized for martyrs^ that on earth did sway it as mo- As Cardinal 

--hies. Si?;.'"' 

Is it your wil and pleasure (noble Lants-graue of 
Lymbo) to let us haue lesse carousing to your health in 
poyson^ fewer vnder-hand conspyrings, or open quarrells 
executed onelyin wordes^as they are in the worldenowe 
a dayes ; as if men will needes carouse, conspire, and 
quarrel], that they may make RuiEans' Hall of hell, and 
there bandy balls of brimstone at on^ an othecs head, 
and not trouble our peacable Paradize with their priuate 
hurliburlies about strumpets, where no weapon (as in 
Adam's Paradize) shold be named, but onely the angell 
of Prouidence stand with a fiery sword at the gate to 
keepe out our enemies. 

A perturbation of minde (like vnto Enuy) is Wrath, The com- 
which looketh farre lower than the former j for, whereas ^^i^^ 
Enuy cannot be said to be but in respect of our supe- branch of 
riours. Wrath respecteth no degrees nor persons, but is ^* 
equally armed agaynst all that offend him. A hare- 
brained little dwarfe it is, with a swarth visage, that 

hatli his hart at his tonffue's end, if he be contraride, and Little men for 
•111 1.1 1 -r/.! the most part 

will be sure to doe no nght, nor take no wrong. If hee are most 

bee a judge or a justice (as sometimes the lyon comes to *"o«"y- 
giue sentence against the lamb), then he sweares by no- 
thing but by Saint Tybome, and makes Newgate a noune Newgate, a 
substantiue, whereto all his other words are but adiec- for al prisons, 

tiues. Liffhtly, hee is an olde man, (for those yeares are ^* ^^^^ ^* * 

\ ^ . , \ -, common name 

most wayward and teatish) yet be he neuer so olde or for a man or a 

so froward, since Auarice likewise is a fellow vice of ^*^™*"- 

those fraile yeares, we must set one extreame to striue 

with another, and alay the anger of oppression by 

the sweet incense of a newe purse of angels ; or the 

doting planet may haue such predominance in these 

wicked elders of Israel, that, if you send your wife, or 

some other female, to plead for you, she may get your 



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pardon vppon promise of better acquaintance. But 
whist! these are the workes of darknesse, and may not 
be talkt of in the day time. Furie is a heate, or fire, and 
must bee quencht with maides water. 

A tale of a Amongst other cholericke wise justices he was one 

that, hauing a play presented before him and his toune- 
ship by Tarlton and the rest of his fellowes, her Maiesties 
seruants, and they were nowentring into their first mer- 
riment (as they c^ it), the people began exceedingly to 
laugh, when Tarlton first peept out his head. Whereat 
the justice, not a little moued, and seeing with his beckes 
and nods, hee could not make them cease, he went with 
his staffe, and beat them round about vnmercifully on 
the bare pates, in that they, being but farmers and 
poore countrey hyndes, would presume to laugh at the 
Queenes men, and make no more account of her cloath 
in his presence. 

The causes conducting vnto Wrath are as diuers as 
the actions of a man's life. Some will take on like a mad 
man if they see a pigge come to the table. Sotericus, 
the surgeon, was cholericke at sight of sturgeon. The 

The nature of Irishman will draw his dagger, and bee readie to kill and 
slay, if one break wind in his companie — and so some of 
our English men, that be souldiers, if one giue them the 
lye. But these are light matters, whereof Pierce com- 
plaineth not. 

Be aduertised, Master Osfcetidum^ bedle of the blacke- 
smithes, that lawyers cannot deuise which way in the 
world to begge, they are so troubled with brabblements 
and sutes euerie tearme, of yeomen and gentlemen that 
fall out for nothing. If John a Nokes his henne doo but 
leap into Elizabeth de Grappes close, shee will neuer 
leaue hunting her husband till he bring it to a tdsiprha. 
One while, the parson sueth the parishioner for bring- 
ing home his tythes; another while, the parishioner 


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sueth the parson for not taking away his tythes in. 


I beard a tale of a butcher^ who^ driuing two calues a merry tale 

over a common that were coupled together by the neckes ^ * . *^"t<5^«'' 

^ ° '' and hw calves. 

with an oken wyth, in the way where they should 
passe^ there lay a poore, leane mare, with agalde backe ; 
to whome they comming (as chance fell out), one of one 
side, and the other of the other, smelling on her, (as their 
manner is) the midst of the wyth that was betwixt their 
neckes rubd her, and grated her on the sore backe, that 
shee started and rose vp, and hung them both on her backe 
as a beame ; which, being but a rough plaister to her raw 
vlcer, she ran away with them (as she were frantick) into 
the fens, where the butcher could not follow them, and 
drownde both her self and them in a quagmyre. Now, 
the owner of the mare is in law with the butcher for the 
losse of his mare, and the butcher enterchangeably en- 
dites him for his calues. I pray ye, Timothie Tempter, 
be an arbitrator betwixt them, and couple them both by 
the neckes, (as the calues were) and carrie them to hel 
on your backe, and then, I hope, they will be quiet. 

The chiefe spur vnto Wrath is drunkennes, which, as 
the touch of an ashen bough causeth a gidinesse in the 
viper's head, and the batte, lighty strooke with the leafe 
of a tree, loseth his remembrance, so they, being but 
lightly sprinckled with the iuyce of the hop, become 
sencelesse, and haue their reason strooken blind,' as soon 
as euer the cup scaleth the fortresse of their nose. Then 
run their words at random, like a dog that runnes after 
his master, and are vppe with this man and that man, and 
generally invey against all men, but those that keepe a 
wette comer for a friend, and will not thinke scorne to 
drinke with a good fellowe and a souldiour ; and so long 
doe they practise this traine on the ale- bench, that, when 
they are sober, they cannot leaue it. There be them that 


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gette their lyuing all the yeere long by nothing but 
A tale of one Not farre from Chester, I knewe an odde, foule- 
a foule ^^ ^ mouthde knaue, called Charles the Fryer, that had a face 
mouthde g© parboyled with mens spitting on it, and a backe so 
often knighted in Bridewell, that it was impossible for 
any shame or punishment to terrifie him from ill speak- 
ing. Noblemen hee would liken to more vgly things 
than himselfe ; some to after my most hearty commen- 
dations, with a dash ouer the head ; others to guilded 
• chines of beefe, or a shooemaker sweating when hee 
pulles on a shooe ; another to an olde verse in Cato, 
Ad consilium ne accesseris, antequam voceris ; an other 
to a Spanish codpisse ; an other that his face was not 
yet finisht, with such like innumerable absurd allu- 
sions : yea^ what was he in the court but he had a com- 
parison instead of a capcase to put him in. Upon a 
time, being challengde at his owne weapon in a priuate 
chamber, by a great personage, (rayling, I meane) he so 
farre outstript him in villainous words, and ouer-bandied 
him in bitter terms, that the name of sport could not 
persuade him patience, or containe his furie in anie de- 
grees of iest, but needes hee must wreake himselfe vpon 
him : neither would a common reuenge suffice him, his 
displeasure was so infinite, (and, it maybe, common re- 
uenges he tooke before, as farre as the whipcord would 
stretch vpon like prouokements) wherefore he caused 
his men to take him, and bricke him vp in a narrow 
chimney, that was neque mofor neque minor corpore lO' 
cato ; where he fed him for fifleene dayes with bread and 
water through a hole, letting him sleepe standing if he 
would, for lye or sit he could not, and then he let him 
out to see if he could leame to rule his tongue anie 

It is a disparagement to those that haue anie true 


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spark of gentilitie, to be noted of the whole world so to 
delight in detracting, that they should keepe a venomous 
toothde curre, and feede him with the crums that fall 
from his table, to doe nothing but bite euery one by the 
shins that passe by. If they will needes be merrie, let 
them haue a foole, and not a knaue, to disport them, and 
seeke some other to bestow their almes on, than such an 
impudent begger. 

As there be them that rayle at ^ men, so there be 
them that rayle at all artes, as Cornelius Agrippa, De 
Vanitale Scientiartjtm, and a treatise that I haue seenein 
dispraise of learning ; where he saith, it is the corrupter 
of tlie simple, the schoolemaster of sinne, the storehouse 
of treacherie, the reuiuei^pf vices, and mother of cowardize ; 
alleadging manie examples how there was neuer man 
egregiouslie euill but hee was a schoUer ; that, when the 
vse of letters was first inuented, the Golden World 
ceased, facinttsque invasit mortaks ; how studie doth 
effeminate a man, dimme his sight, weaken his braine, 
and engender a thousand diseases. Small learning 
would serue to confute so manifest a scandale; and I 
imagine all men^ like my selfe, so vnmoueablie resolued 
of the excellence thereof, that I will not, by the vnder- 
propping of confutation, seeme to giue the idle-witted 
aduersarie so much encouragement, as he should surmize 
his superficiall arguments had shaken the foundation of 
it, 'gainst which he could neuer haue lifted his penne if 
herself had not helpt him to hurt herselfe. 

With the enemies of poetry, I care not if I haue a An invective 
bout ; and those are they that tearme our best writers but ^n^J^feg ^f^ 
babling ballat-makers, holding them fantasticall fooles Poetry. 
that haue wit, but cannot tell how to vse it. I, my 
selfe, haue beene so censured among some dull-headed 
diuines, who deeme it no more cunning to write an ex- 
quisit poem, than to preach pure Calvin, or distill tlie 


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Absit arro- iuice of a commentary into a quarter sermon. Proue it 
fhls speech when you will, you slow spirited Saturnists, that haue 
should con- nothing but the pilfries of your penne to poUish an ex- 
vines butsuch hortation withall ; no eloquence but tautologies to tye the 

dunces as e^res of your auditory vnto you ; no inuention but heere 

abridge me» ^ '^ . 

of their law- is to be noted, '• I stole this note out of Beza or Marlorat ;" 

and care^ not °^ ^^^ ^ moue, no passion to vrge,but onely an ordinary 

how unpre- forme of preaching;, blowen vp by vse of often hearins: 

pared they , , f f , „ ^ / , 

speake to ^^^ speaking; and ]|ou shall nnde there goes more ex- 

tlieiraudi- quisite paynes and purity of wit tp the writing of one 
Such sermons ^^^^ *'^^® poem as Rosamond, than to a hundred of your 

I meane as dunsticall sermons. 


preach in Should we (as you) borrow all out of others, and 

othe^r^cmfv^^^ gather nothing of our selues, our names would be baffuld 

tides, when on euerie booke-sellers stall, and not a chandler's mus- 

from the^cob- ^^i^d-pot but would wipe his mouth with our wast paper. 

ler's stall to New herrings, new ! we must cry, euery time we make 
their pulpits. % ^^ ^ , n i i • j -i 

our selues publique, or else we shall be chnstend with a 

hundred newe tytles of idiotisme. Nor is poetry an art 
whereof there is no vse in a man^s whole life, but to de- 
scribe discontented thouglits and youthfull desires, for 
/ there is no study but it dooth illustrate and beautifie. 
' How admirably shine those diuines aboue the common me- 
diocritie^ that haue tasted the sweet springs of Pernassus ! 
The u^e of Siluer-tongu'd Smith, whose well tun'd stile hath made 

1 oetry. ^j^^ death the generall teares of the Muses, queintlye 

Smitlii. couldst thou deuise heauenly ditties to Apolloes lute, and 

teach stately verse to trip it as smoothly as if Ouid and 
thou had but one soule. Hence along did it proceede, that 
that thou wert such a plausible pulpit man, before thou 
entredst into the wonderfull wayes of theologie, thou re- 
finedst, preparedst, and purifiedst thy wings with sweete 
poetrie. If a simple man's censure may be admitted to 
speake in such an open theater of opinions, I neuer saw 
abundant reading better mixt with delight, or sentences 


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which no man can challenge of prophane affectation^ 
sounding more melodious to the eare, or piercing more 
deepe to the heart. 

To them that demaund, what fruites the poets of our The fruits of 
time bring forth, or wherein they are able to approue ^^^^y- 
themselues necessarie to the state? thus I answere : first 
and formost, they haue cleansed our language from bar* 
barisme, and made the vulgar sort, here in London^ 
(which is the fountaine whose riuers flowe round about 
England) to aspire to a richer puritie of speach than is 
communicated with the comminaltie of anie nation vnder 
hoauen. The vertuous by their praises they encourage 
to be more vertuous ; to vicious men they are as infer- 
nall hags, to haunt their ghosts with eternall infamie 
after death. The soldiour, in hope to haue his high 
deedes celebrated by their pens, despiseth a whole armie 
of perills, and acteth wonders exceeding all humane con- 
iecture. Those that care neither for God nor the diuell, 
by their quills are kept in awe. Multifamam, (saith one) Plia. lib. 3. 
pauci conscientiam vereniur. 

Let God see what he wil, they would be loath to haue 
the shame of the world. What age wil not prayse im- . 
mortal Sir Philip Sidney, whom noble Salustius (that /-» 
thrice singular French poet) hath famoused, together 
with Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper, and merry Sir 
Thomas Moore, for the chiefe pillers of our English 
speech. Not so much but Chaucer's host, Baly in 
Southwarke, and his wife of Bath, he keepes such a stirre 
with in his Canterbury tales, shalbe talkt of whilst the 
Bath is vsde, or there be euer a badde house in South- 

Gentles, it is not your lay chronigraphers that write The dispraise 
of nothing but of Mayors and Sheriefs, and the deare ^ri^'hew^"*" 
yeere, and the great frost, that can endowe your names 
wyth neuer dated glory ; for they want the wings of 


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choyse words to flye to heauen, which wee haue. They 
cannot sweeten a discourse, or wrest admiration from men 
reading, as we can, reporting the meanest accident. 
Poetry is the hunny of all flowers, the quintessence of 
all scyences, the marrowe of witte, and the very phrase 
of angels. How much better is it, then^ to haue an 
eligant lawyer to plead ones cause, than a stutting towns- 
man, that loseth himselfe in his tale, and dooth nothing 
but make legs ; so much is it better for a nobleman, or 
gentleman, to haue his honour's story related, and his 
deedes emblazond, by a poet than a cittizen. 

Alas, poor latynlesse authors ! they are so simple, they 
knowe not what they doe : they no sooner spy a new 
ballad, and his name to it that compilde it, but they put 
him in for one of the learned men of our time. I mar* 
uell how the masterlesse men, that sette vp their bills in 
Paules for seruices, and such as paste vp their papers on 
euery post, for arithmetique and writing-schooles, scape 
eternitie amongst them : I beleeue both they and the 
knight marshaPs men, that nayle vp mandates at the 
court gate, for annoying the pallace with filth or making 
water, if they set their names to the writing, will 
shortly make vp the number of the learned men of our 
time, and be as famous as the rest. For my part, I do 
challenge no praise of learning to my selfe, yet haue I 
worne a gowne in the university, and so hath caret 
iempus turn habet moribus ; but this I dare presume, 
that, if any Mecaenas bihde mee to him by his bounty, 
or extend some round liberalitie to mee worth the speak- 
ing of, I will doe him as much honour as any poet of my 
beardlesse yeares shall in England. Not that I am so 
confident what I can doe, but that I attribute so much to 
my thankfuU mind aboue others, which I am perswaded 
would enable me to worke miracles. 

On the contrary side, if I bee euill intreated, or sent 


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away with a flea in mine eare^ let him looke that I will 

rayle on him soundly; not for an houre or a day, whiles 

the injury is fresh in my memory, but in some elaborate, 

poUished poem, which I will leaue to the world when I 

am dead, to be a liuing image to all ages of his beggerly 

parsimony and ignoble illiberalitie : and let him not 

(what soeuer he be) measure the weight of my words by 

this booke, where I write quicquid in buccam venerit, as 

fast as my hand ccm trot, but I haue tearmes (if I be 

vext) laid in steepe in aqua fortis and gunpowder, that 

shall rattle through the skyes, and make an earthquake 

in a pesant's eaies. Put case (since I am not yet out of I would fell 

the theame of Wrath) that some tyred jade belonging to ^^.^^ ,^^*^ 

the presse, whome I neuer wronged in my life, hath but I am 

named me expressly in print (as I will not doo him), and ^ould make 

accused me of want of learning:, vpbraiding me for re- ^> ? booke sell 

in hys latter 
uiuing, in an epistle of mine, the reuerend memorie of dayes^ which 

Sir Thomas Moore, Sir John Cheeke, Doctor Watson, {^ J^j^^d^^'J 
Doctor Haddon, Doctor Carre, Master Ascharo, as if bin a ^reat 
they were no meate but for his masterships mouth, or priater. 
none but some such, as the sonne of a ropemaker^ were 
worthie to mention them. To shewe how I can rayle, 
thus would I begin to rayle on him : — ^Thou that hadst 
thy hood turned ouer thy eares, when thou wert a bache- 
lor, for abusing of Aristotle, and setting him vpon the 
schoole gates^ painted with asses eares on his head, is it 
anie discredit for me, thou great baboune, thou pigmee 
braggart, thou pampheter of nothing hut paansy to bee chandler's 
censured by thee, that hast scorned the prince of philo* 8bop,oratthe 
sophers : thou, that in thy dialogues soldst hunnie for a stoll, if you 
balfepenie, and the choysest writers extant for cues a ^^^ ^pe^^ 
peece ; that cam'st to the logick schooles when thou wert wrapt vp in 
a fresh- man, and writst phrases; off with thy gowne, of such a''^^^ 

and vntrusse, for I meane to lash thee mightily. Thou pampWet as 

° "^ incerti autho- 

hast a brother, hast thou not^ student in almanackes ? ris, lo P«eau. 


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Go too ! lie stand to it, he fathered one of thy bastards, 

(a booke I meane) which, being of thy begetting, was 

set forth vnder his name. 

Gentlemen, I am sure you haue heard of a ridiculous 

asse, tliat manie yeares since sold lyes by the great, & 

wrote an absurd astrologicall discourse of the terrible con- 

iunction of Satume and Jupiter, wherein (as if hee had 

latelie cast the heauen's water, or been at the anatomizing 

of the skies intrayles in Surgeons^ Hall) hee prophecieth of 

such Strang wonders to ensue from starres distemperature, 

& the vniuersal adultry of planets, as none but he, that is 

bawd to those celestiall bodies, could euer descry. What 

expectation there was of it both in towne and country, 

the amazement of those times may testifie; and the rather, 

because he pawned his credit vpon it in these expresse 

Which at tearmes : " If these things fall not out in euerie poynt as 

^^T^LlTf^ « I haue wrote, let mee for euer hereafter loose the credit 
was wortb a ' 

dozen of bal- of my astronomie." Wei, so it happend, that he happend 

for'in be not ^^^ to be a man of his word : his astronomie broke his 

deceiv'd, his Jay with his creditors, and Satume and Jupiter proued 

rope-maker, honester men than all the worlde tooke them for. Where- 

vpon the poore prognosticator was readie to runne him- 

selfe through with his Jacobus staffe, & cast himselfe 

headlong from the top of a globe, (as a mountaine) and 

breake his necke. The whole uniuersitie hyst at him, 

Tarlton at the Theater made iests of him, and Elderton 

consumed his ale-crammed nose to nothing in bear- 

bayting him with whole bundells of ballets. Would you, 

in likely reason, gesse it were possible for anie shame- 

swoln toad to haue the spet-proofe face to outlive this 

disgrace ? It is, deare brethren, VivU, imo, vivU ; and, 

which is more, he is a vicar. 

Poor slaue ! I pitie thee that thou hadst no more grace 
but to come in my way. Why could not you haue sate 
quyet at home, and writ catechismes, but you must be 


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comparing me to Martin, atfd exclayme against me for 
reckning vp the high schollers of worthie memorie? 
Jupiter ingeniis pnebet ma numina vatum^ saith Ouid ; 
segue ceJebrari qttoUbet ore sinit. Which, if it be so, I hope 
I am aliquiSy & those men, quos honoris causa nominavif 
are not greater than gods. Methinks, I see thee stand 
quiuering and quaking, and euen now Uft vp thy hands 
to heauen, as thanking God my choler is somewhat 
asswaged ; but thou art deceiued, for howeuer I let fall 
my stile a little^ to talk in reason with thee that hast none, 
I doo not meane to let thee scape so. 

Thou hast wronged one for my sake, (whom for the 
name I must loue) T. N., the Master Butler of Pem- 
broke Hall, a ferre better schoUer than thy selfe, (in my 
judgement) and one that sheweth more discretion and 
gouemment in setting vp a size of bread, than thou in 
all thy whole booke. Why man, thinke no scorne of 
him, for he hath helde thee vp a hundred times, whiles 
the Deane hath giuen thee correction, and thou hast capd 
and kneed him (when thou wert hungry} for a chipping. 
But thats nothing, for, hadstthou neuer beene beholding 
to him, nor holden vp by him, he hath a beard that is a 
better gentleman than all thy whole body, and a graue 
countenance, like Cato, able to make thee run out of thy 
wits for feare, if he looke sternly vpon thee. I haue 
reade ouer thy sheepish discourse of the Lambe of God 
and his Enemies, and entreated my patience to bee good 
to thee whilst I read it; but for all that I could doe 
with myselfe, (as I am sure I may doe as much as an 
other man) I could not refrayne, but bequeath it to the 
priuie, leafe by leafe as I read it, it was so vgly, dorbel- 
licall, and lamish. Monstrous, monstrous, and palpable ; 
not to be spoken of in a christian congregation ! thou 
hast skumed ouer the schoole men, and of the froth of 
theyr folly made a dish of diuinitie brewesse, which the 


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dogges will not eate. If the printer haue any great 
dealings with thee, he were best get a priuiledge be* 
times, eul imprimendum solum, forbidding all other to 
sell waste paper but himselfe, or else he will be in a wo- 
His owne full taking. The Lambe of God make thee a wiser bell- 
weather than thou art, for else, I doubt thou wilt be 
driuen to leaue all, and fall to thy father's occupation, 
which is, to goe and make a rope to hange thy selfe. 
Neque enim lex cBquior ulla est, guam necis artifices 
arteperire sua : and so I leaue thee till a better oppor- 
tunitie, to be tormented world without end of our poets 
and writers about London, whom thou hast called pi- 
perly make-playes and make-bates: not doubting but 
he also whom thou tearmest the vayn Pap-hatchet, will 
haue a flurt at thee one day, all ioyntly driuing thee to 
this issue, that thou shalt bee constrained to goe to the 
chiefe beame of thy benefice, and there, beginning a la- 
mentable speech with cur scripsi, cur perii, ende with 
pravumprava decent, juvat inconcessa voluptas, and with 
a trice trusse vp thy life in the string of thy sancebell. 
So be it, pray penne, inke, and paper, on their knees, 
that they may not be troubled with thee any more. 

Redeo ad vos, met auditores. Haue I not a indifferent 
pretty veine in spurgalling an asse P if you knew how 
extemporall it were at this instant, and with what haste 
it is writ, you would say so. But I would not haue you 
thinke, that all this that is set downe heere is in good 
earnest, for then you goe by S. Gyles the wrong way to 
Westminster ; but onely to shew how for a neede I could 
rayle, if I were throughly fyredv So hoe I Honiger Ham- 
mon : where are you all this while, I cannot bee ac- 
quainted with you ? Tell me, what doe you thinke of 
the case ? am I subject to the sinpe of wrath I write 
against, or no, in whetting my penne on this block ? I 
know you would faine haue it so, but it shal not choose 


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but be otherwise for this once. Come on : let vs turne 
ouer a new leafe, and heare what Gluttony can say for her 
selfe ; for Wrath hath spet his poyson^ and full platters 
doe well after extreame purging. 

The Romayne emperours that succeeded Augustus Thecom* 
were exceedingly giuen to this horrible vice, whereof giuttooie. 
some of them would feede on nothing but the tongues of 
phesants and nightingales 3 other would spend as much 
at one banquet, as a king's reuenues came to in a 
yeare: whose excesse I would decypher at large, but 
that a new Laureate hath sau'd me the labor ; who, for 
a man that standes vpon paines and not wit, hath per- 
formM as much, as anie storie dresser may doe, that sets 
a new English nap on an olde Latine apothegs. It is '^ 
enough for me to licke dishes here at home, though I 
feed not mine eyes at anie of the Romane feasts. Much 
good doo it you. Master Dives, here in London : for you 
are he my pen meanes to dine withalL Miserere mei^ 
what a fat churle it is ! Why, he hath a belly as big as 
the round church in Cambridge, a face as huge as the 
whole bodie of a base viall, and legs that, if they were 
hollow, a man might keepe a mill' in either of them. 
Experto crede Roberto, there is no mast like a mer* 
chaunt's table. Bondfide^ it is a great misture, that we 
have not men swine as well as beasts, for then we should 
haue porke that hath no more bones than a pudding, 
and a side of bacon that you might lay vnder your head 
in stead of a bolster. 

It is not for nothing that other countreyes, whome wee 
vpbrayd with drunkennesse, call vs bursten-bellyed glut- 
tons ; for we make our greedie paunches powdring tubs of 
beefe, and eate more meate at one meale, than the Spa- 
niard or Italian in a month. Good thriftie men, they 
drawe out a dinner with sallets, like a Swart-rutter's sute, 
and make Madona Nature their best caterer. We must 


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Nature in haue our tables furnisht like poultrers stalls, or as though 
buf pkyne ^® ^^^^ ^ victuall Noah's arke againe, (wherein there 

dame, but in was all sortp of liuinff creatures that euer were) or els the 

opayue and . ^ , 

Italyrbecause good-wife wil not open her mouth to bid one welcome. 

more use of ^ stranger that should come to one of our magnificoes 
her than we) houses, when dinner were set on the board, and he not 
a lady. J^^ Set, would thinke the goodman of the house were a 

haberdasher of wylde-fowle, or a merchant venturer of 
daintie meate, that sells commodities of good cheere by 
the great, and hath factors in Arabia, Turkey, Egipt, 
and Barbarie, to prouide him of straunge byrdes, China 
mustard, and odde pattemes to make custards by. 

Lord ! what a coyle haue we, this course and that 
course, remouing this dish higher, setting another lower, 
and taking away the third. A generall might in lesse 
space remoue his camp, than they stand disposing of 
their gluttonie. And whereto tends all this gurmandise, 
but to giue sleepe grosse humors to feede on, to corrupt 
the braine, and make it vnapt and vnweldie for anie 
thing ? 
r The Romane Censors, if they lighted vppon a fat cor- 
pulent man, they straight tooke away his horse, and con- 
strayned him to goe a foote, positiuely concluding his 
carkasse was so puft up with gluttonie or idlenes. If. 
wee had such horse-takers amongst vs, and that surfet- 
swolne churles, who now ride on their foot-cloathes, 
might bee constrayned to carrie their flesh budgets from 
place to place on foote, the price of veluet and cloath 
would fall with their bellies, and the Gentle Craft {alias 
the red herrings kinsmen) get more, and drinke lesse. 
Plenus venter nil agii Ubenter^ et plwres gula occidit 
guam gladius. It is as desperate a peece of seruice to 
sleep vpon a full stomacke, as it is to seme in face of the 
bullet : a man is but his breath, and that may as wel be 
stopt by putting too much in his mouth at once, as 


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running on the mouth of the cannon. That is verified of 
vsy which Horace writes of an outragious cater in his 
time. Quicquid qucesierat ventri donabat avarOy whatso- 
euer he could rap or rend, he confiscated to his couetous 
gut. Nay, we are such flesh -eating Saracens, that chast 
fish may not content us, but we delight in the murder of 
innocent mutton, in the vnpluming of pulterie, and quar- 
tering of calues and oxen. It is horrible and detesUible, 
no Godly fishmonger that can digest it. Report (which 
our modemers clepe flundring fame) puts mee in me- 
morie of a notable jest I heard long agoe of Doctor Arare wittie 

TTT • 1 .1 1 1 n n y nil *®®^ ^^ DoCtOf 

Watson, vene conducible to the reproofe of these fleshly- Watson's. 
minded Belials, He being at supper, on a fasting or Or rather 
fish night at least, with a great number of his friends cause alliheyr 
and acquaintance, there chanced to be in the companie "*"^ ^jV «" 
an outlandish doctor, who, when all other fell to such 
victuals (agreeing to the time) as were before them, he 
Querslipt them ; and there being one ioynt of flesh on 
the table for such as had meate stomackes, fell freshly to 
it. After that hunger (halfe conquered) had restored 
him to the vse of his speach, for his excuse he said to his 
friend that brought him thether, fTofeci\ dominey ego 
mm malissimus jriscaior, meaning by piscator^ a fish- 
man ; (which is a libertie, as also malissimus^ that out- 
landish men in their familiar talke doo challenge, at 
least vse, aboue vs). At tu es bonissimus camifeXj quoth 
Doctor Watson, retorting very merrily his owne licentious 
figures vpon him. So of vs it may be said, we are malis^ 
simi piscatores^ but bonissimi cam\fices. I would Eng- 
lish the jest, for the edification of the temporalitie, but 
that it is not so good in English as in Latine : and 
though it were as good, it would not conuert clubs and 
clouted shoone from the flesli-pots of Egipt^ to the 
provant of the Low-countreyes ; they had rather (with 
the put vp a supplication to the Parlia- 


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ment House, that they might haue a yard of pudding for 

a penie, than desire (with the baker) there might bee 

three ounces of bread sold for a halfe penie. 

The modera- Alphonsus, King Philip's confessor, that came ouer 

Alpbonso^ ^ith him to England, was such a moderate man in his 

King Phillip's jyet that he would feede but once a day, and at that 
confessor. / ' /' 

time hee would feed so slenderly and sparingly, as scarse 

serued to keep life and soule together. One night, impor- 
tunately inuited to a solempne banquet, for fashion sake 
he sate downe among the rest, but by no entreatie could 
be drawne to eate any thing : at length, frute being set 
on the boord, he reacht an apple out of the dish, and 
put it in his pocket, which one marking that sat right 
ouer against him, askt him, domine, cur es solicUus m crcu* 
tinumf Sir, why are you careful for the morrowe? 
Whereto he answered most soberly, Imo hoc fado^ nu 
amicCy tit ne rim aoUdiua in crastinum. No ; I doo it, 
my friend, that I may not be careful! for the morrow : as 
though his appetite were a whole day contented with so 
little as an apple, and that it were enough to pay the 
morrowes tribute to nature. 

The strange Eare, and worthie to be registred to all posterities, is 

alteration of ^. _, . ,«• , , . i t». . - ■»> 

the Countie ^^ Countie Molynes (sometime the Pnnce of Parmaes 

Moline's, the companion) altred course of life ; who, being a roan that 
ipa's compa- liued in as great pompe and delicacie as was possible for a 
"*^"' man to doo, and one that wanted nothing but a kingdome 

that his hart could desire, upon a day entring into a 
deepe melancholy by himselfe, he fell into a discoursiue 
consideration what this world was, how vain and transi- 
torie the pleasures thereof, and how manie times he had 
offended God by surfeiting, gluttonie, drunkennes, pride, 
whoredome, and such like, and how hard it was for him, 
that liuM in that prosperitie that he did, not to bee en- 
tangled with those pleasures : whereupon he presently 
resolu'd, twixt God and his owne conscience, to forsake 


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it and all his allurements, and betake him to the seuerest 
forme of life vsed in their State. And with that cald all 
his souldiers and acquaintance together, and, making 
knowen his intent vnto them, he distributed his lyuing 
and possessions (which were infinite) amongst the poorest 
of them ; and hauing not left himselfe the worth of one 
farthing vnder heauen, betooke him to the most beggerlie 
new erected order of the Frier Capuchines. Their insti- 
tution is, that they shall possesse nothing whatsoeuer of 
their owne more than the cloathes on their backes, con- 
tinually to goe barefoote, weare haire shirts, and lye 
ypon the hard boords, winter and summer time : they 
must haue no meat, nor ask any but what is giuen them 
voluntarily, nor must they lay vp any from meale to 
meale, but giue it to the poore, or els it is a great pe- 
naltie. In this seuere humilitie lyves this deuout Countie, 
and hath done this foure yeare, submitting himselfe to al 
the base drudgerie of the house, as fetching water, 
making cleane the rest of their chambers, insomuch as he 
is the junior of the order. O ! what a notable rebuke 
were his honourable lowlines to succeeding pride, if this 
prostrate spirit of his were not the seruaunt of supersti- 
tion, or bee misspent not his good workes on a wrong 

Let but our English belly-gods punish their pursie 
bodies with this strict penaunce, and professe the Capu- 
chinisme but one month, and He be their pledge, they 
shall not grow so like dry fats as they doo. O ! it will 
make them jolly long-winded, to trot vp and downe the 
dortor staires, and the water-tankard will keepe vnder 
the insurrection of their shoulders, the haire shirt will 
chase whoredome out of their boanes, and the hard 
lodging on the boards take their flesh downe a button 
hole lower. 

But if they might be induced to distribute all their 



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goods amongst the poore, it were to be hoped Saint Peter 

would let them dwell in the suburbes of heauen; whereas^ 

otherwise, they must keepe aloofe at Pancredge, and not 

come neere the liberties by fine leagues and aboue. It 

is your doing (Diotrephes Diuell) that these stall-fed 

ccMinorants to damnation must bung vp all the wealth 

of the land in their snaphaunce bags, and poore schollers 

and souldiers wander in backe lanes, and the out-shiftes 

of the citie, with neuer a rag to their backes ; but our 

trust is that, by some intemperance or other, you will 

tourne vp their heeles, one of these yeares, together, and 

prouide them of such ynthrifts to their heyres, as shall 

spend in one weeke amongst good fellowes what they 

got by extortion and oppression all their life-time. 

From gluttonie in meates, let me discend to super- 

fiuitie in drink, a sinne that, euer since we haue mixt 

our selues with the Low Countries, is counted honourable, 

but before we knew their lingring warres, was held in 

the highest degree of hatred that might be. Then, if 

wee had seene a man goe wa.llowing in the streetes, or 

line sleeping: vnder the boord, wee would haue spet at 
super nagu- . . . 

lum, a devise him as a toade, and cald him foule, drunken swine, and 

new'^come out warned all our friends out of his company : now, he is no 

ofFraunce; body that cannot drinke mper nagulum. carouse the 
which is after -r *r ? ^ 

a man hath hunters' hoope, quafFe vp$ey freze crosse, with leapes 
tunide up the gjoues, mumpes, frolickes, and a thousand such domi- 
cup, todropit nering inuentions. He is reputed a pesaunt and a boore 
and ^make ^a ^^^^ ^^^^ °°* ^^^ ^^^ licour profoundly ; and you shall 
pearl with heare a caualier of the first feather, a princockes that 
which, if it ^^ ^^^ ^ P^^ ^® other day in the court, and now is all 

slide, and he ^ \^q frenchified in his souldiours sute, stand vpon termes 

cannot mak . . . 

stand on, by With " God's wounds ! you dishonour me, sir, you doo me 

The com- 
plaint of 


^^^uch^lie ^^® disgrace, if you do not pledge me as much as I 


must drinke drunke to you 3" and, in the midst of his cups, stand 
asaine for his ^» i* 1 j 1 • • • ^ -xt. 

penance. Taunting his manhood, beginning euerie sentence with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


'* When I first bore arraes,^ when he neuer bare anie thing 
but his lord's rapier afler him in his life. If he haue 
been ouer^ and visited a towne of garrison, as a trauailer 
or passenger, he hath as great experience as the greatest 
commander and chiefe leader in England. A mightie 
deformer of men's manners and features is this vnneces- 
sarie vice of all other. Let him bee indued with neuer 
so manie vertues, and haue as much goodly proportion 
and fauour, as Nature can bestow vpon a man, yet if hee 
be thirstie after his owne destruction, and hath no ioy 
nor comfort, but when he is drowning his soule in a gal- 
lon pot, that one beastly imperfection wil vtterly obscure 
all that is commendable in him, and all his goode quali- 
ties sinke like lead downe to the bottome of his carrow- 
sing cups, where they will lye, like lees and dregges, dead 
and vnregarded of any man. 

Clim of the Clough, thou that vsest to drinke nothing 
but scalding lead and sulphur in hell, thou art not so 
greedie of thy night geare. O ! but thou hast a foule 
swallow if it come once to the carrousing of humane 
bloud ; but thats but sildom, once in seauen yeare, when 
theres a great execution, otherwise thou art tyde at rack 
and manger, and drinkst nothing but the agtui vitcB of 
vengeance all thy life time. The prouerbe giues it 
foorth thou art a knaue, and therefore I haue more hope 
thou art some manner of a good fellowe : let mee in- 
treate thee (since thou hast other iniquities inough to 
circumuent vs withall) to wype this sinne out of the 
catalogue of thy subtilties : helpe to blast the vyues, that 
they may beare no more grapes, and sowre the wines in 
the cellars and merchants' storehouses, that our countrey- 
men maye not pisse out all their wit and thrift against 
the walls. King Edgar, because his subiects should not King Edgar's 
offend in swilling, and bibbing, as they did, caused certaine agaiMt d^ 
yron cups to be chayned to everie fountaine and wells ing. 


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The wonder- 
full absti- 
nence of the 
Marquesse of 
Pi>aua, yet 

The private 

side^ and at everie vintner's doore, with yron jons in them, 
to stint euery man how much he should drinke ; and he 
that went heyond one of those pins forfeyted a pennie 
for everie draught. And, if stories were well searcht, I 
belieue hoopes in quart pots were inuented to that ende, 
that eurie man should take his hoope, and no more. I 
haue heard it iustified for a truth by great personages, 
that the olde Marquesse of Pisana (who yet lines) drinkes 
not once in seauen yeare ; and I haue read of one An- 
dron of Argos, that was so sildome thirstie, that hee 
trauailed ouer the hot, burning sands of Lybia, and 
neuer drank. Then, why should our colde clyme bring 
forth such fierie throats ? Are we more thirstie than 
Spaine and Italy ^ where the sunnes force is doubled ? 
The Germaines and Lowe Dutch, methinkes, should bee 
continually kept moyst with the foggie ayre and stinck- 
ing mystes that aryse out of theyr fennie soyle ; but 
as their countrey is ouer-flowed with water, so are their 
heads alwayes ouer-flowen with wine, and in their bel- 
lyes they haue standing quag-myres and bogs of English 

One of their breede it was that writ the booke, 
De Arte Bibendi, a worshipfuU treatise, fitte for none 
but Silenus and his asse to set forth : besides that vo- 
lume, wee haue generall rules and iniunctiotis, as good 
as printed precepts, or statutes set downe by acte of 
Parliament, that goe from drunkard to drunkard ; as 
still to keepe your first man, not to leaue anie flockes in 
the bottome of the cup, to knock the glasse on your 
thumbe when you haue done, to haue some shooing 
home to pul on your wine, as a rasher of the coles, or a 
redde herring, to stirre it about with a candle's ende to 
make it taste better, and not to hold your peace whiles 
the pot is stirring. 

Nor haue we one or two kinde of drunkards onely. 


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but eight kindes. The first is ape drunke ; and he Tbe eight 
leapes, cmd singes, and hollowes, and daunceth for the drunkennes. 
heauens : the second is lion drunke ; and he flings the 
pots about the house, calls his hostesse whore, breakes 
the glasse windowes with his dagger, and is apt to quar- 
rell with anie roan that speaks to him : the third is 
swine drunke ; heauie, lumpish, and sleepie, cmd cries 
for a little more drinke, and a fewe more cloathes : the 
fourth is sheepe drunke ; wise in his own conceipt, when 
he cannot bring foorth a right word : the fifth is mawd- 
len drunke ; when a fellowe will weepe for kindnes in the 
midst of his ale, and kisse you, saying, '• By Grod, cap- 
tame, I loue thee. Goe thy wayes; thou dost not 
thinke so often of me as I doo of thee ; I would (if it 
pleased God) I could not loue thee, so well as I doo ;'^ 
and then he puts his finger in his eye, and cryes : the 
sixt is Martin drunke; when a man is drunke, and 
drinkes himselfe sober ere he stirre: the seuenth is 
goate drunke; when, in his drunkennes, he hath no 
minde but on lecherie : the eighth is fox drunke — ^when 
he is craftie drunke, as manie of the Dutchmen bee, 
that will neuer bargaine but when they are drunke. All 
these species, and more, haue I seen practised in one 
companie at one sitting, when I haue been permitted to 
remayne sober amongst them, onely to note their seuerall 
humours. Hee that plyes anie one of them harde, it will 
make him to write admyrable verses, and to haue a deepe 
casting head, though hee were neuer so verye a dunce 

Gentlemen, all you that will not haue your braynes j^^ diacom- 

twice sodden, or your flesh rotten with the dropsie, that modities of 
•^ 1.1 drunkennes. 

loue not to goe in greasie dublets, stockings out at the 

heeles, and weare ale-house daggers at your backes, for- 

sweare this slavering brauerie, that will make you haue 

stinking breathes, and your bodies smell like brewers' 


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aprons : rather keepe a snuffe in the bottome of the 
glasse to light you to bed withall^ than leaue neuer an 
eye in your head to lead you over the threshold. It 
will bring you, in your olde age, to be companions with 
none but porters and car-men ; to talke out of a cage, 
ray ling as dronken men are wont, a hundred boyes won- 
dering about them ; and to dye sodainely, as Fol Long, 
the fencer, did, drinking aqua vitcB, From which (as all 
Lt- the rest) good Lord deliuer Pierce Penilesse ! 
plainroT '^^^ "^^®® ^f ^^^^ enormitie (as of all euills) is Idlenes, 

Sloth. or Sloth, which, hauing no paineful prouince to set hira 

selfe a worke, runnes headlong, with the raynes in his 
own hand, into all lasciuiousnesse and sensualitie that 
maye bee. Men, when they are idle, and know not 
what to do, saith one, " Let vs goe to the stilliard, and 
drinke Rhenish wine." " Nay, if a man knew where a 
good whorehouse were," saith another, " it were some- 
what like." " Nay," saith the third, " let vs goe to a 
dicing-house or a bowling-alley, and there we shall haue 
some sport for our money." To one of these three (at 
hand, quoth pick purse) your euill angelship. Master 
Mani-headed Beast, conducts them, ubi quid agitur — 
betwixt you and their soules be it, for I am no drawer, 
box-keeper, or pandar, to bee priuie to their sports. If 
I were to paint Sloth, (as I am not seene in the sweet- 
nings) by Saint John the Euangelist, I sweare I would 
draw it like a stationer that I knowe, with his thumb 
vnder his girdle, who, if a man come to his stalle to aske 
him for a booke, neuer stirres his head, or looks vpon him, 
but stands stone still, and speakes not a word, only with 
his little finger poynts backwards to his boy, who must 
be his interpreter; and so all the day, gaping like a 
dumbe image, he sits without motion, except at such 
times as hee goes to dinner or supper, for then he is as 
Videlicet, be- quicke as other three, eating sixe times euerie day. If 


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I would raunge abroad^ and looke in at sluggards' key- fore he come 

holes, I should iinde a number lying a bed to saue ^^^^ ^ ^^t ' 

char&[es of ordinaries ; and in winter, when they want breakfast, 
« . , . , ,/. , • , then dinner, 

nring, loosing halfe a week s commons together, to then after 

keepe them warme in the linnen. And, hold you con- 5^"f? 
^ 'J nuncbings, 

tent, this summer an vnder-meale of an aftemoone long a supper, and 
doth not amisse to exercise the eyes withall. Fat men *^«^®*"PP®^- 
and farmers' sonnes, that sweate much with eating hard 
cheese, and drinking olde wine, must have some more 
ease than yong boyes, that take their pleasure all day 
running vp and downe. 

Setting jesting aside, I hold it a great disputable ques- Which is bet- 
tion, which is a more euill man, of him that is an idle ^^^^^^ ^J ® 
glutton at home, or a retchlesse vnthrift abroad ? The vagrant un- 
glutton at home doth nothing but engender diseases, 
pamper his flesh vnto lust, and is good for none but his 
owue gut : the vnthrift a broad exerciseth his bodie at 
dauncing schoole, fence ^choole, tennis, and all such re- 
creations ; the vintners, the victuallers, the dicing-houses, 
and who not, get by him. Suppose he lose a little now 
and then at play, it teacheth him wit \ and how should 
a man know to eschue vices, if his owne experience did 
not acquaint him with their inconueniences ? Omne 
iffnoium pro magnifico est : that villanie we have made 
no assayes in, we admyre. Besides, my vagrant reueller 
haunts playes, and sharpens his wits with frequenting 
the companie of poets : he emboldens his blushing face 
by courting faire women on the sodaine, and lookes into 
all estates by conuersing with them in publique places. 
Now, tell me whether of the two, the heauie headed 
gluttonous house dove, or this liuely, wanton, yong gal- 
lant, is like to proue the wiser man, and better member in 
the common wealth ? If my youth might not be thought 
partiall, the fine qualified gentleman, although vnstiud, 
should carie it clean away from thelazie clownish droane. 


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The effects of Sloth in nobilitie, courtiers, schoUers, or anie men, is 
the chiefest cause that brings them in contempt. For« 
as Industrie and vnfiattigable toyle raiseth meane persons 
from obscure houses to high throanes of authorities so 
sloth, and sluggish securitie, causeth proud lordes to 
tumble from the towers of their starrie discents, and bee 
trod ynder foote of euerie inferior Besonian. Is it the 
lo% treading of a galliard, or fine grace in telling of a 
loue tale amongst ladies, can make a man reuerenst of the 
multitude P No; they care not for the false glistring of 
gay garments, or insinuating curtesie of a carpet peere ; 
but they delight to see him shine in armour, and oppose 
himselfe to honourable daunger, to participate a volun- 
tarie penny with his souldiours, and relieue part of theyr 
want out of his own purse. That is the course he that 
will be popular must take ; . which, if hee neglect, and sit 
dallying at home, nor will be awakt by anie indignities 
out of his loue-dreame, but suffer euery vpstart groome 
to defie him, set him at naught, and shake him by 
the beard vnreuenged, let him straight take orders, and 
bee a church-man, and then Iiis patience may passe for a 
vertue ; but otherwise to be suspected of cowardise, and 

Tlie means to not car^d for of anie. The onely enemie to sloth is con- 
tention and emulation; as to propose one man to my 
selfe, that is the onely myrrour of our age, and strive to 
out goe him in vertue. But this strife must be so tern- 
pred, that we fal not from the eagernes of praise, to the 
enuying of their persons ; for, then, we leaue running to 
the goale of glorie, to spume at a stone that lyes in our 
way; and so bid Atlante, in the midst of her course, 
stoup to tieike vp the golden apple her enemie scattered 
in her way, and was out-runne by Hippomenes. The 
contrarie to this contention, and emulation, is securitie, 
peace, quiet, tranquillitie ; when we haue no aduersarie 
to pry into our actions, no malicious eye, whose pursuing 


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our priuate behauiour might make vs more vigilant ouer 
our imperfections than otherwise we would be. 

That state or kingdome that is in league with all the 
world, and hath no forreigne sword to vexe it, is not 
halfe so strong or confirmed to endure, as that which 
liues euerie houre in feare of inuasion. There is a cer- 
taine wast of the people for whom there is no yse but 
warre; and these men must haue some employment 
still to cut them off« Nam si foras hostem nan habent, 
dond invenieni. If they haue no seruice abroad, they 
will make mutinies at home. Or if the affaires of the 
state be such, as cannot exhale all these corrupt excre- 
ments, it is verie expedient they have some lyght toyes 
to busie their heads withall, to cast before them as bones 
to gnaw vppon, which may keepe them from hauing lea- 
sure to intermeddle with higher matters. 

To this effect the policie of playes is verie necessarie, Tlie defence 
however some shallow-brayned censurers (not the deepest 
serchers into the secrets of gouernment) mightily op* 
pugne them. For whereas the after noone being the 
idlest time of the day, wherein men, that are their owne 
masters, (as gentlemen of the court, the innes of the court, 
and the number of captaines and souldiers about London) 
doo wholly bestow themselues vpon pleasure, and that 
pleasTure they deuide (how vertuously it skills not) either 
into gameing, following of harlots, drinking, or seeing a 
play, is it not then better (since of foure extreames aU 
the world cannot keepe them but they will choose one) 
that they should betake them to the least, which is 
playes? Nay, what if I proue playes to be no extreame, 
but a rare exercise of vertue ? First, for the subject of 
them (for the most part) it is borrowed out of our Eng- 
glish chronicles, wherein our forefathers valiant actes 
(that haue lyne long buried in rustie brass and worme- 
eaten bookes) are reuiued, and they themselves raysed 


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from the graue of obliuion, and brought to pleade their 
aged honours in open presence ; than which, what can 
bee a sharper reproofe to these degenerate effeminate 
dayes of ours ? 

How would it haue joy'd braue Talbot (the terror of 
the French) to thinke that after he had lynetwo hundred 
yeare in his tomb, he should triumph againe on the 
stage, and haue his bones new embalmed with the teares 
of ten thousand spectators at least, (at seuerall times) 
who, in the tragedian that represents his person, imagine 
they behold him fresh bleeding? 

I will defend it against anie coUian, or club-fisted 
usurer of them all, there is no immortalitie can be giuen 
a man on earth like vnto playes. What talke I to them 
of immoralitie, that are the onely vnderminers of honour, 
& doo enuie anie man that is not sprung vp by base 
brokerye like themselues ? They care not if all the aun- 
cient houses were rooted out, so that, like the burgo- 
masters of the Low Countries, they might share the go- 
uernment amongst them as States, & be quarter- masters 
of our monarchy. Al arts to them are vanitie : and, if 
you tell them what a glorious thing it is to haue Henry 
the Fifth represented on the stage, leading the French 
king prisoner, and forcing both him and the Dolphin 
sweare fealtie. I, but (will they say) what doo we get 
by it ? respecting neither the right of fame that is due 
to true nobilitie deceased, nor what hopes of eternitie are 
to be proposed to aduentrous minds, to encourage them 
forward, but onely their execrable lucre, and filthie 
vnquenchable auarice. 

They know when they are dead they shall not bee 
brought ypon thee stage for any goodnes, but in a mer- 
riment of the usurer and the diuell, or buying armes of 
the herald, who giues them the lyon, without tongue tayle 
or tallents, because his master whom he must serue is a 


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townsman^ and a man of peace, and must not keepe anie 
quarrelling beasts to annoy his honest neighbours. 

In playes, all coosonages^ all cunning drifts ouerguylded Tlie use of 
with outward holinesse, all stratagems of warre, all the ^ ^^^' 
canker-wormes that breede on the rust of peace^ are 
most liuely anotomiz'd: they shew the ill successe of 
treason, the fall of hastie climbers, the wretched ende of 
vsurpers, the miserie of ciuill dissention, & howe iust 
God is euermore in punishing of murther. And to proue 
euerie one of these allegations, could I propound the cir- 
cumstances of this play and that play, if I meant to 
handle this theaiue other wise than obiter. What should 
I say more ? they are sower pills of reprehension, wrapt 
vp in sweete words. Whereas some petitioners to the x^e confuta- 

Counsaile af^ainst them obiect, they corrupt the youth of ^^^ of cittn 
..i.,i . /.,. , 2ens obiec- 

the cittie, and with-drawe prentises from their worke, tionsagaiast 

they heartily wish they might bee troubled with none of V^^y^^' 
their youth nor their prentises; for some of them (I 
meane the ruder handicraftes seruaunts) neuer come 
abroad, but they are in danger of vndooing : and, as for 
corrupting them when they come, thats false; for no 
playe they haue encourageth anie man to tumults or re- 
bellion, but layes before such the halter and the gallowes, 
or prayseth or approoueth pride, lust, whoredome, prodi- 
galize, or drunkennes, but beates them downe vtterly. 
As for the hindrance of trades and traders of the citie by 
them, that is an article foysted in by the vintners, ale- 
"wiues, and victuallers, who surmise, if there were no 
playes, they should haue all the companie that resort to 
them, lye bowzing and beere-bathing in their houses 
euerie after-noone. Nor so, nor so, good brother bottle- 
ale ; for there are other places beside, where money can 
bestow it selfe : the signe of the smocke will wype your 
mouth clean, and yet I haue heard ye haue made her a 
tenaunt to your tap-houses. But what shall he doo that 


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bath spent himselfe? where shall he haunt? Faith, 
when dice, lust, and drunkennes, and all haue dealt 
vppon him, if there be neuer a playe for him to goe to 
for his peny, he sits melancholy in his chamber, deuising 
vpon felonie or treason, and how bee may best exalt him- 
selfe by mis-chiefe. 

In Augustus time (who was the patrone of all wittye 
sports) there hapned a great firay in Rome about a 
player, insomuch as all the citie was in an vproare: 
whereupon the emperour (after the broyle was somewhat 
ouer-blown) cald the player before him, and askt what 
was the reason that a man of his qualitie durst presume 
to make such a brawle about nothing. He smilingly re- 
A players plide, " It is good for thee, O Caesar ! that the peoples 
wittyaaswere jjeads are troubled with brawles and quarrels about vs 
and our light matters ; for otherwise they would looke 
into thee and thy matters.'^ Read Lipsius or anie pro- 
phane or christian politician, and you shall finde him of 
A comparison this opinion. Our playes are not as the players beyond 
players and sea, a sort of squirting baudie comedians, that haue 
thepl^ere chores and common curtizans to play womens parts, and 
sea. forbeare no immodest speach or vnchast action that may 

procure laughter ; but our sceane is more stately fumisht 
than euen it was in the time of Roscius, our representa- 
tions honorable, and full of gallaunt resolution, not con- 
sisting, like theirs, of a pantaloun, a whore, and a zanie, 
but of emperours, kings, and princes, whose true tragedies 
{Sophocleo cothumo) they doo vaunt. 

Not Roscius nor Esope, those tragedians admyred be- 
fore Christ was borne, could euer performe more in action 
The due com- than famous Ned Allen. I must accuse our poets of 
Nwl Alien ""^ ^^^^ ^^ partialitie, that they wiU not boast in large im- 
pressions what worthie men (aboue all nations) England 
affbords. Other countreyes cannot haue a fidler breake 
a string but they will put it in print, and the olde Ro- 


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manes in the writings they published, thought scorne to 
vse anie but domestical examples of their owne home- 
bred actors, schollers, and champions, and them they 
would extoU to the third and fourth generation ; coblers, 
tinkers, fencers, none escapt them, but they mingled 
them all on one gallimafry of glory. 

Heere I haue vsed a like methode, not of tying my 
selfe to mine owne countrey, but by insisting in the ex- 
perience of our time ; and, if I euer write any thing in 
Latine, (as I hope one day I shall) not a man of any de- 
sert heere amongst vs, but I will haue vp. Tarlton, 
Ned Allen, Knell, Bentley, shall be made knowen to 
D^aunce, Spflyne, and Italie ; and not a part that they 
surmounted in more than other, but I will there note 
and set downe, with the manner of their habites and at- 

The child of sloth is lechery, which I haue plac't last Tlie seaventh 
in my order of handling : a sinne that is able to make a p"a*lJft*'of *^"*' 
man wicked that should describe it; for it hath more lechery, 
starting-holes than a siue hath holes, more clyents than 
Wesimimter Hall, more diseases than Newgate. Call a 
leete at Byshqpsffote^ and examine how euery second 
house in Shorditch is mayntayned : make a priuie search 
in Souihwarkey and tell mee how many shee-inmates you 
finde. Nay, goe where you will in the suburbes, and 
bring me two virgines that haue vowd chastity, and He 
build a nunnery. 

fVeatminstery Westminster! much maydenhead hast 
thou to answere for at the day of judgement. Thou hadst 
a sanctuary in thee once, but hast few saints left in thee 
now. Surgeons and appothecaries, you know what I 
speake is true ; for you liue (like sumners) vppon the 
sinnes of the people, tell me is there any place so lewde 
as this lady London ? Not a wench sooner creepes out 
of the shell, but she is of the religion. Some wiues will 


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SOW mandrake in theyr gardens, and crosse neighbour- 
hood with them is counted good-fellowship. 

The court I dare not touch, but surely there (as in the 
heauens) bee many falling starres, and but one true 
Diana. Consuetudo peccandi toUii sensum peccati. Cus- 
tome is a lawe, and lust holdes it for a lawe, to liue 
without lawe. Lais, that had so many poets to her 
loners, could not allwaies preserue her beautie with their 
prayses. Marble will weare away with much rayne, 
gold wil rust with moyst keeping, and the ritchest gar- 
ments are subiect to time's moath-frets : Clitemnestra, 
that si ewe her husband to enioy the adulturer ^gistus, 
and bathde herselfe in milke euery day to make her 
younge againe, had a time when shee was ashamed to 
viewe herselfe in a looking- glasse, and her boddie 
withered, her minde being greene. The people poynted 
at her for a murtherer, yonge children howted at her as 
a strumpet. Shame, misery, sicknesse, beggery, is the 
best end of vncleannesse. 

liais, Cleopatra, Helen, if our clyme had any such, 
noble Lord Warden of the wenches & anglers, I commend 
them with the rest of our vncleane sisters in Skorditch, 
the Spittle^ Soutkwarkej Westminster^ and TwmbuU 
StreetCj to the protection of your portership; hoping 
you will speedily carrie them to hell, there to keepe 
open house for all yonge deuills that come, and not let 
our ayre bee contaminated with theyr six penny damna^- 
tion any longer. 

Your diuelships 

bounden execrator, 

Pierce Pennilesse. 


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Fierce penilesse. 65 

A Supplication caldst thou this? (quoth the knight of 
the post) it is the maddest Supplication that euer I 
saw I me thinkes thou hast handled all the seauen deadly 
sinnes in it, and spared none that exceedes his limits in 
any of them. It is well doone to practise thy wit, but 
(I beleeue) our lord will cun thee little thanke for it. 

The worse for mee (quoth I), if my destenie be such, 
to lose my labour euery where ; but I meane to take my 
chance, be it good or bad. Well, hast thou any more 
that thou wouldest haue me to doe ? (quoth hee) Onely 
one sute, (quoth I) which is this ; that, sith opportunitie 
so conueniently semes, you would acquaint me with the 
state of your infemall regiment, and what that hell is, 
where your lord holdes his throne ; whether a world like 
this, which spirites like outlawes doe enhabit, who, being 
banisht from heauen, as they are from their countrey, 
envy that any shall be more happie then they, and 
therefore seeke all meanes possible, that wit or arte may 
inuent, to make other men as wretched as themselues ? 
or whether it be a place of horror, stench, and dark- 
nesse, where men see meat, but can get none, or are euer 
thirstie, and ready to swelt for drinke, yet haue not the 
power to tast the coole streames that runne hard at theyr 
feete? where (permutaia vicimtudine) one ghost tor- 
ments an other by tumes, and hee that all his life time 
was a great fornicator, hath all the diseases of lust con- 
tinually hanging vpon him, and is constrayned (the 
more to augment his misery) to haue congresse euery 
bowre with hagges and olde witches ; and he that was 
a great drunkard heere on earth, hath his penance as- 
signde him, to carouse himselfe drunke with dishwash 
and vineger, and surfet foure times a day with sower 
ale and small beere ? as so of the rest, as the vsurer to 
swallow moulten gold, the glutton to eate nothing but 
toades, and the murtherer to be still stabbd with dag* 


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gers, but neuer dye ? or whether (as some phantasticall 
refyners of phylosophy will needes perswade vs) hell is 
nothing but error, and that none but fooles and idiote 
and mechanicall men, that haue no learning, shall be 
damnd? Of these doubts if you will resolue me, I shall 
thinke my self to haue profited greatly by your com- 

Hee, hearing me so inquisitiue in matters aboue hu- 
mane capacitie, entertained my greedie humor with this 
answere. Poets and philosophers, that take a pride in 
inuenting new opinions, haue sought to renoume their 
wits by hunting after strange conceits of heauen and 
hell ; all generally agreeing that such places there are, 
but how inhabited, by whom gouemed, or what betides 
them that are transported to the one or the other, not 
two of them iumpe in one tale. We, that to our terror 
and griefe doo knowe their dotage by our sufferings, re* 
ioyce to thinke how these sillie flyes play with the fire 
that must bume them. 

But leaning them to the laborynth of their fond curio- 
side, shall I tell thee in a word what hell is ? It is a 
place where the soules of vntemperate men, and ill liners 
of al sorts, are detayned and imprisoned till the generall 
resurrection, kept and possessed chiefly by spirites, who 
lye like souldiours in garison, ready to be sent about 
any sendee into the world, when soeuer Lucifer, theyr 
lieftenaunt generall, pleaseth. For the scituation of it, 
in respect of heauen, I can no better compare it than to 
Callis and Doner ; for, as a man standing vpon Callis 
sands may see men walking on Doner clyffes, so easely 
may you discerne heauen from the farthest part of hell, 
and behold the roelodie and motions of the angels and 
spirites there resident in such perfect manner, as if you 
were amongst them ; which, how it worketh in the 
mindes and soules of them that haue no power to appre* 


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hend such felicitie, it ia not for me to intioiatej because 
it is preiudiciall to our monarchie. 

I would bee some (quoth I) to importune you in anie 
matter of seorecie ; yet this I desire, if it might bee done 
without offence, that you would satisfie me in full sort, 
and according to truth, what the diueU is whom you 
seme, as also how he began, and how farre his power 
and authoritie extends ? 

Persie, beleeue me, thou shry vest me verie neere in 
this latter demaond, which concemeth ya more deeply 
than the former, and may worke V8 more damage than 
thou art aware of ; yet, in hope thou wilt conceale what 
I tell thee, I wil lay open our whole estate plainly and 
simply vnto thee as it is. But first I will begin with the 
opinions of former times, & so hasten forward to that 
mamfe»te $mvim that thou seekest. Some men ther be 
that, building to much vpon reason^ perawade them* 
selues that there are no diuells at alL but that this word 
damon is such another morall of mischiefe, as the poet's 
Dame Fortune is of mishap ; for as vnder the fiction of 
this blinde goddessewe ayme at the folly of princes and 
great men in disposing of honors, that oftentimes pre* 
ferre fooles and disgrace wise men, and alter their 
fauors in turning of an eye, as Fortune turns her 
wheele, so vnder the person of this olde Gnathonicall 
companion, called the Diuell, we shrowd all subtiltie, 
masking vnder the name of simplicitie all painted 
holines devouring widowes houses, all gray-headed foxes 
olad in sheepes garments ; so that the Diuell (as they 
make it) is onely a pestilent humour in a man, of plea^ 
sure, profit, or policie, that violently carries him away 
to vanitie, villanie, or monstrous hjrpocriaie. Under va- 
nitie I comprehend not onely all vaine arts and studies 
whatsoeuer, but also dishonorable prodigality, vntempe- 
rate venerie, and that hatefiil sinne of selfe-loue, which 



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is so common among vs : vnder villany I comprehend 
murder^ treason, theft, cousnage, cut-throat couetise, and 
such like : lastly, vnder hypocrisie, al Machiavilisme, pu- 
ritanisme, & outward gloasing with a mans enemie, and 
protesting friendship to him I hate and meane to 
harme, all vnder-hand cloaking of bad actions with com- 
mon-wealth pretences ; and, finally, all Italionate con- 
veyances, as to kill a man and then moume for him, 
quasi vero it was not by my consent, to be a slaue to 
him that hath iniur'd me, and kisse his feete for oppor* 
tunities of reuenge, to be seuere in punishing offenders, 
that none might haue the benefite of such meanes but 
myselfe, to vse men for my purpose & then cast them 
off, to seeke his destruction that knowes my secrets ; 
and such as I haue imployed in any murther or strata- 
gem, to set them priuily together by the eares to stab 
each other mutually, for fear of bewraying me ; or, if 
that faile, to hire them to humor one another in such 
courses as may bring them both to the gallowes. These, 
and a thousand more such sleights, hath hypocrisie 
learned by trauailing strange countries. I will not say 
she puts them in practise here in England, although 
there be as many false brethren and crafty knaues here 
amongst vs as in any place ; witnes the poore miller of 
Cambridge, that, hauing no roome for his hen-loft but 
the testor of his bed, and it was not possible for anie 
hungrie poultrers to come there but they must stand vpon 
the one side of it, and so not steale them but with great 
hazard, had in one night notwitlistanding (when hee 
and his wife were a snorting) all the whole progenie of 
their pulterie taken away, and neyther of them heard 
anie sturring : it is an odde tricke, but what of that, 
we must not stand vpon it, for wee haue grauer matters 
in hand than the stealing of hennes. Hypocrisie, I re- 
member, was our text, which was one of the chiefe mor- 


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rail Diuelfl, our late doctours aiErme to be most busie in 
these dayes ; and busie it is, in truth, more than anye 
bee that I knowe : now you talke of a bee. He tell you 
a tale of a battle-dore. 

The beare on a time, beeing chiefe burgomaster of all 
the beastes vnder the lyon, gan thinke with himselfe 
how hee might surfet in pleasure, or best husband his 
authoritie to enlardge his delight and contentment. With 
that hee beganne to prye and to smell through euerie 
comer of the forrest for praye, to haue a thousand ima^ 
ginations with himselfe what daynetie morsell he was 
master of, and yet had not tasted. Whole beards of 
sheepe had he deuoured, and was not satisfied; fat oxen, 
heyfers, swine, calues, and yong kiddes were his ordinarie 
vyands : he longed for horse-flesh, and went presently to 
a medowe, where a fat cammell was grazing, whom, fear** 
ing to encounter with force because he was a huge beast 
and well shod, he thought to betray vnder the colour of 
demaunding homage, hoping that, as he should stoop to 
doo him truage, he might seaze vpon his throate, and 
stifle him before he should be able to recouer himselfe 
from his false embrace. But therein hee was deceiued, 
for, comming vnto this stately beast with this imperious 
message, in stead of dooing homage vnto him, he lifled vp 
one of his hindmost heeles, and stroake him such a blowe 
on the forhead that he ouer-threwe him. Thereat not a 
little moou'd, and enrag'd that he should be so dishonored 
b^ his inferiour, as he thought, he consulted with the ape 
how he might be reuenged. The ape, abhorring him by 
nature because he ouer-lookt him so lordly, and was by 
so manie degrees greater than he was, aduised him to dig 
a pit with his pawes right in the way where this big boand 
gentleman should passe, that so stumbling and falling in, 
he might lightly skip on his backe, and bridle him, and 
then hee come and seaze on him at his pleasure. Nq 


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sooner was this perawaded &an performed ; for eniiy, that 
is neuer idle, could not sleep in his wrath^ or oner-slip 
the least opportumtie, till he had seene the oonfosion of 
his enemie. Alas, goodly creature, that thou mightst 
no longer Uue 1 What auailetii thy gentlenes, thy prow- 
esse, or the plentiful pasture wherein thou wert fed, since 
malice triumphs ouer al thou oiMnmandest? Well may 
the mule rise vp in armes, and the asse bray at the au- 
thors of thy death, yet shall th^r furie be feitall to them- 
selues, before it take holde on these traitours. What 
needetii more words P the deuourer feedes on his captiue, 
and is gorged with bloud. But, as auarice and crueltie 
are euermore thirstie, so far'd it with tiiis hungrie 
usurper ; for, hauing fle At his ambition with this trea- 
cherous conquest, he past along through a groue, where 
a heard of deare were a ranging ; whom, when he had 
stedfestly surveyed from the fattest to the leanest, hee 
singled out one of the fairest of the company, with whom 
he meant to close up his stomache instead of cheese : 
but because tiie wood-men were euer stirring there- 
about, and it was not possible for one of his coate to 
commit 'such outrage vndescried, and that, if he were 
espied, his life were in perill, though not with the lion, 
whose eyes he coulde blinde as he list, yet with the lesser 
sort of the brutish comminaltie, whom no flattry might 
pacific. Therefore, he determined slylie and priuily to 
poyson the streame where this jolly forrester wonted to 
drink ; and as he determined so he did : whereby it 
fell out that, when the sunne was ascended to his height, 
and all the nimble citizens of the wood betooke them to 
their laire, this youthfull lord of the lawnds, all faint and 
malcontent, (as prophecying his neere approaching mis- 
hap by his languishing) with a lazie, wallowing pace, 
strayed aside from the rest of his fellowship, and betooke 
him all carelessly to the corrupted fountaine that was 


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prepared for his funerall. Ah, woe is mee I this poyson 
is pitiles. What need I say more, since you know it is 
death with whom it encounters ? And yet cannot all 
this expence of life set a period to insatiable murther ; 
but still it hath some anvyle to worke vpon, and ouer- 
casts all opposite prosperitie that may anie way shadow 
his glorie. Too long it were to reherse all the practises 
of this sauadge Uood hunter ; how he assailed the uni- 
come as he slept in his den^ and tore the heart out of his 
breast ere he could awake; how he made the lesser beasts 
lie in wayt one for the other, and the crocodyle to coapa 
with the basiliske, that when they had enterchaungeably 
weakned each other, bee might come and insult ouer them 
both as he list. But these were lesser matters, which 
daily vse had wome out of men's mouths, and he himself 
had so customably practised, that often exercise had quite 
abrogated the opinion of sinne, and impudence throughly 
confirmd an vndaunted defiance of vertue in his fietce. 
Yet new-fangled lust, that in time is wearie of wel£Eure^ 
and will be as soone cloyed with too much ease and de- 
licacie, as pouertie with labour and scardtie, at length 
brought him out of loue with this greedie, bestiall hu- 
mour ; and now he affected a milder varietie in his diet : 
he had bethought him what a pleasant thing it was to 
eate nothing but honnie another while, and what great 
store of it there was in that countrey. 

Now did he cast in his head, that if hee might bring 
the husbandmen of the soyle in opinion that they might 
buy honey cheaper than being at such charges in keeping 
of bees, or that those bees which they kept were most of 
them drones, b what should such idle drones doo with 
such stately hyues, or lye sucking at such precious honni- 
combs; tiiat if they were took away from them and 
distributed equally abroad, they would releeue a great 
manie of painfull labourers that had need of them, and 


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would continually Hue seruiceable at their conunaund, if 
they might enioy such a benefite : nay more^ let them 
giue waspes but onely the wax, and dispose of the honnie 
as they thinke good, and they shal humme and buzze a 
thousand times lowder than they, and haue the hiue fuller 
at the yeres end (with yong ones, I meane) than the bees 
are wont in ten yere. 

To broach this deuice the foxe was addrest like a 
shepheards dogge, and promist to haue his pattent seald, 
to bee the king^s poulterer for euer, if hee could bring it 
to passe. Faith, quoth he, and He put it in a venter, let 
it hap how it will. With that he grew in league with an 
old camelidn, that could put on all shapes, and imitate 
anie colour, as occasion serued ; and him he addrest, some- 
time like an ape to make sport, & then like a crocodile 
to weepe, sometime lyke a serpent to sting, cmd by and 
by like a spaniel to fawne; that with these sundrie 
formes, (applyde to mens variable humors) he might 
perswade the world he ment as he spake, and only in- 
tended their good when he thought nothing lesse. In 
this disguise these two deceiuers went vp and downe, 
€md did much harme vnder the habite of simplicities 
making the poore silly swaines beleeue they were cunning 
phisitions, and well scene in all cures, that they could 
heale anye malady, though neuer so daungerous, and re- 
store a man to life that had been dead two dayes, only by 
breathing vpon him, Aboue all things they perswaded 
them, that the honny that their bees brought forth was 
poysonous and corrupt, by reason that those floures and 
hearbs, out of which it was gathered and exhaled, were 
subiect to the infection of euery spider and venlmous 
canker, and not a loathsome toade (how detestable soeuer) 
but reposde himselfe vnder theyr shadow, and lay sucking 
at their routes continually : wheras in other countries, no 
noisome or poisnous creature might liue, by reason of the 

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imputed goodnes of the soyle, or carefull diligence of the 
gardners aboue ours; as, for example, Scotland, Den- 
marke, and some more pure parts of the 17 proukices. 
These perswasions made the good honest husbandmen to 
pause, €md mistrust their owne wits verie much in nou- 
rishing such dangerous animals; but yet, I know not 
how, antiquitie and custome so ouer rulde their feare, that Interdum 
none would resolue to abandon them on the sodaine, til tum^d^et 
they saw a further inconuenience ; whereby my two cun- ubi peccat. 
ning philosophers were driuen to studie Galen anew, and 
seeke splenatiue simples to purge their popular patients 
of the opinion of their olde traditions and customes; 
which, how they wrought with the most part that had 
least wit, it were a world to tell. For now nothing was 
canonicall but what they spake, no man would conuerse 
with his wife but first askt their aduise, nor pare his 
nayles, nor cut his beard without their prescription : 
so senseles, so wauering is the light vnconstaunt multi- 
tude, that will daunce after euerye mans pype, and 
sooner prefer a blinde harper that can squeake out a new 
home'pipe, than Alcinous or AppoUoes varietie, that 
imitates the eight straines of the Doryan melodic. I 
speak this to amplify the nouel folly of the headlong 
vulgar, that making their eyes and eares vassailes to 
the legerdemaine of these iugling mountebanks, are 
presently drawne to contemne art and experience, in 
comparison of the ignorance of a number of audacious 
ideots. The fox can tell a fieure tale, and couers all his 
knauerie vnder conscience, and the camelion can ad- 
dresse himself like an angell whensoeuer he is disposed 
to worke mischief by myracles ; but yet, in the end, 
their secret driftes are laide open, and linceus eyes, that 
see through stone walls, haue made a passage into the 
close couerture of their hypocrisie. 
For one daye, as these two deuisers were plotting by 

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themselues how to driue all the bees from their honni* 
combes, by putting worm-wood in their hyues, and 
strewing henbane and rue in euerie place where they 
resort, a flye that past by, and heard all their taike, sto- 
macking the foxe of olde, for that he had murthered so 
manie of his kindred with his flayle-driuing taile, went 
presently and buzd in linceus eares the whole purport 
of their malice ; who awaking his hundred eyes at these 
vnexpected tidings gan pursue them whersoeuer they 
went, and trace their intents as they proceeded into ac- 
tion, so that ere halfe their baytes were cast foorth, they 
were apprehended and imprisoned, and all their whole 
counsaile detected. But long ere this, the beare, impa- 
tient of delayes, and consum'd with an inward greefe in 
himselfe, that hee might not haue his will of a fat hinde 
that out-ran him, he went into the woods all melancholy, 
and there dyed for pure anger, leauing the foxe and the 
camelion to the destinie of their desert, and mercie of 
their judges. How they scapte I know not, but some 
saye they were hanged, and so weele leaue them. 

How lik'st thou of my tale, friend Persie ? Haue I 
not described a right earthly diuell vnto thee in the dis- 
course of this bloodie-minded beare ? or canst thou not 
attract the true image of hypocrisie vnder the descrip- 
tion of the foxe and the camelion. 

Yes, verie wel (quoth I) ; but I would gladly haue 
you retume to joxxr first subiect, since you haue mooued 
doubts in my minde, which you haue not yet discust. 

Of the sundrie opinions of the diuell thou meanest, 
and them that imagine him to haue no existence, of 
which sort are they that first inuented the prouerbe, 
furnio hamini dcsmon ; meaning thereby that that power 
which we call the deuill, and the mipistring spirites be- 
longing to his kingdom, are tales and fables, and meere 
bugge-beares to scare boyes, and that there is no such 


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essence at all^ but onely it is a terme of large content^ 
describing the rancour, grudge^ & bad dealing of one 
man tcmards another; as, namely, when one friend 
talkes with another subtilly, and seekes to dyue into his 
commoditie, that hee may depriue him of it craftily } 
when the sonne seeks the death of the father, that he 
may be infeofFed in his wealth ; and the step-dame goes 
about to make away her sonne-in-law, that her children 
may inherit ; when brothers fall at jarres for portions, 
& shall, by open murther or priuy conspiracie, attempt 
the confusion of each other, only to ioyne house to 
house, and vnite two liuelihoods in one ; when the ser- 
uant shal rob his master, and men put in trust start 
away from their oathes and vowes, they care not how. 

In such cases and many more, may one man be said 
to bee a deuill to an other, and this is the second opinion. 
The third is that of Plato, who not only aifirmeth that 
there are diuells, but deuided them into three sorts, 
euery one a degree of dignity aboue the other : the first 
are those, whose bodies are copact of tiie purest ayerie ele- 
ment, combined with such transparent threds, that 
neither they doo partake so much fier as should make 
them visible to sight, or haue any such afBnitie with the 
earth, as they are able to be prest or toucht ; and these he 
setteth in the highest incomprehensible degree of heauen* 
The second he maketh these, whom Apuleius dooth call 
reasonable creatures, passiue in mind and etemall in 
time, being those apostata spirites that rebelled with 
Belzebub ; whose bodies, before their fall, were bright 
and pure all like to the former, but, after their trans- 
gression, they were obscured with a thicke, fiery matter, 
and euer after assigned to darknes. The third he attri- 
butes to those men that, by some diuine knowledge or 
vnderstanding seeming to aspyre aboue mortallitie, are 
called (kenumoy (that is) gods, for this word dcsmon con- 


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tayneth eyther, and Homer in euery place dooth vse it 
both for that omnipotent power that was before all things, 
and the euill spirite that leadeth men to error : so dooth 
Syrianus testifie that Plato was called daemon, because 
he disputed of deepe common-wealth matters, greatly 
auaylable to the benefit of his countrey ; and Aristotle, 
because he wrot at large of all things subiect to mouing 
and sence. Then belike (quoth I) you make this word 
dcBmon a capable name of gods, of men, and of deuills ; 
which is farre distant from the scoape of my demand, for 
I doo only inquire of the diuell, as this common appella- 
tion of the diuel signifieth a malignant spirit, enemie to 
mankinde, and a hater of God and all goodnes. Those 
are the second kinde, said he, usually termed detractors, 
or accusers, that are in knowledge infinite, insomuch as, 
by the quickness of their wits & agreeable mixtures of 
the elements, they so comprehend those seminarie vertues 
to men vnknown, that those things which, in course of 
time or by growing degrees. Nature of itselfe can effect, 
they, by their art and skil in hastning the works of Na- 
ture, can contriue and compasse in a moment : as the 
magitians of Pharao, who, whereas Nature, not without 
some interposition of time and ordinarie causes of con- 
ception, brings forth frogs, serpents, or any lining thing 
els, they, without all such distance of space, or circum- 
scription of season, euen in a thought, as soone as their 
king commanded, couered the land of Egipt with this 
monstrous encrease. Of the original of vs spirites the 
Scripture most amply maketh mention; namely, that 
Lucifer, (before his fall) an arch-angel, was a cleere 
bodie, compact of the purest and brightest of the ayre, 
but after his fall hee was vayled with a groser sub- 
stance, and tooke a new forme of darke and thicke ayre, 
which he still reteineth. Neither did he onely fall when 
hee stroue with Michael, but drewe a number of angels 


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to his faction, who, ioynt partakers of his proud reuolt, 
were likewise partakers of his punishment, and all thrust 
out of heauen together by one iudgement; who euer 
since doo^ nothing but wander about the earth, and 
tempt and enforce frayle men to enterprise all wickednes 
that may bee, and commit most horrible and abhominable 
things against Grod. Mervaile not that I discouer so much 
of our estate vnto thee, for the Scripture hath more than 
I mention ; as S. Peter, where he saith that God spared 
not his angels thai sinned; and in an other place, wher 
he saith that they are bound with the chains of darknes, 
and throwen headlong into hell ; which is not meant of any 
locall place in the earth, or vnder the waters, for, as 
Austin affirmeth, we doe inhabite the region vnder the 
moone, and haue the thick aire assigned vs as a prison, 
from whence we may with small labour cast our nets where 
wee list : yet are we not so at our disposition, but that 
we are still commanded by Lucifer, (although we are in 
number infinit) who, retaining that pride wherewUfa he 
arrogantly afPected the maiestie of God, hath still his 
ministring angels about him, whom he employes in seue^ 
rail charges, to seduce & deceiue as him seemeth best : as 
those spirits which the Latins call Jovios and Antemeri- 
dianoSy to speake out of oracles, and make the people 
worship them as gods, when they are nothing but de- 
luding diuels, that couet to haue a false deitie ascribed 
vnto them, & draw men vnto their loue by wonders and 
prodegies, that els wold hate them deadly, if they knew 
their maleuolence and enuie. Such a monarchizing spirit 
it was that said vnto Christ, I/thou unit fall downe, and 
worsh^ me, I will giue thee all the kingdomes of the 
earth; and such a spirit it was that possest the Libian 
Bapho, and the Emprour Dioclesian, who thought it the 
blessedst thing that might be to be called God. For the 
one being wearie of humane honor, & inspired with a 


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supernaturall fdly, taught little birds, that were capable 
of gpeach, to pronounce distinctly, Magmts Deus 8a^ ; 
that is to say, A great god is Sapho : which words, when 
they had learned readely to carroU, and were perfect in 
their note, he let them flie at randome, that so dis* 
persing themseluea euery where, they might induce the 
people to account of him as a god. The other was so 
arrogant, that he made his aubiects fal prostrate on their 
faces, and, lifting yp their hands to him as to heauen, 
adore him as omnipotent* 

The second kind of diuels, which he most imployeth, 
are those notheme Marciit called the spirits of reuenge, 
& the authors of massacres, & seedsmen of mischiefe; for 
they haue commisson to incense men to rapines, sacri« 
ledge, theft, murther, wrath, furie, and all manner of 
cruelties, & they conunaund certaine of the southern 
spirits (as slaves) to wait vpon them, as also great Arioch^ 
that is tearmed the spirite of reuenge. 

TMfese know how to dissociate the loue of brethren, 
and to break wedlock bands with such violence, that 
they may not be vnited, and are predominant in many 
other domestical mutinies ; of whom, if you list to heare 
more, read the 89 of Ecclesiasticus. The prophet Esay 
maketh mention of another spirit, sent by Grod to the 
Effiptians, to make them stray and wander out of the 
way, that is to say, the spirite of lying, which they call 
Bolychym. The spirits that entice men to gluttony & 
lust, are certaine watry spirits of the west, and certaine 
southern spirits as Nefrach and Kelen, which for the 
most part prosecute vnlawfiill loues, and cherish all 
vnnatural desires : they wander through lakes, fish* 
ponds, and fennes, and ouerwhelm ships, cast boates 
vpon ankers, and drowne men that are swinunings 
therefore are they counted the most pestilent, trouble- 
some, and guilefuU spirits that are ; for by the helpe 


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of AJynach^ a spirit of the west, they will raise stormes, 
cause earthquakes, whirlwindes, rayne, haile or snow in 
the cleerest day that is ; and if euer they appeare to 
anie man, they come in womens apparell. The spirits 
of the aire will mixe themselues with thunder and light- 
ening, and so infect the clyme where they raise any 
tempest, that sodainely great mortalitie shal ensue to 
the inhabitants from the infectious vapors which arise 
from their motions. Of such S. John maketh mention 
in the ninth of the Apocalips ; their patrone is Mereris, 
who beareth chief rule about the middle time of the day. 
The spirits of the fire haue their mansions vnder 
the regions of the moone, that whatsoeuer is committed 
to their charge they may there execute, as in their 
proper consistorie, from whence they cannot start. The 
spirits of the earth keepe, for the most part, in forrests 
and woods, and doo hunters much noyance ; and some- 
time in the broad fields, where they lead trauelers out 
of the right way, or fright men with deformed appari- 
tions, or make them run mad through excessiue melan- 
choly, like Aiax Telamonious, & so proue hurtful to 
themselves, & dangerous to others : of this number the 
chiefe are Samaab and Achynoael, spirits of the east, 
that haue no power to doo any great barm, by reason of 
the vnconstancie of their affections. The vnder-earth 
spirits are such as lurk in dens & little cauernes of the 
earth, and hollow crevises of mountaines, that they may 
dyue into the bowels of the earth at their pleasures : 
these dig metals and watch treasures, which they con- 
tinually transport from place to place, that non should 
haue vse of them : they raise windes that vomit flames, 
& shake the foundation of buildins ; they daunce in 
rounds in pleasant lawnds, and greene medowes, with 
noises of musick and minstralsy, and vanish away when 
any comes nere them : they will take vpon them any 


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similitude but that of a woman, and terrefie men in the 
likeness of dead mens ghosts in the night time ; and of 
this qualitie and condition the nigromancers hold Ga- 
ziel, Fegor, and Anarazel, southerne spirits, to be. Be- 
sides, there are yet remaining certaine lying spirits, 
who (although all be giuen to lye by nature) yet are 
they more prone to that vice than the rest, being named 
Pythonists, of whom Apollo comes to be called Pythasus : 
they haue a prince aswel as other spirits, of whom men- 
tion is made in the 3 book of Kings, when hee saith he 
will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all Ahabs pro- 
phets ; from which those spirites of iniquitie doo little 
differ, which are called the vessels of wrath, that assist 
Belial (whom they interpret a spirite without yoake or 
controuler) in all damnable devises and inuentions. 
Plato reports them to be such as first devised cardes and 
dice, and I am in the mind that the monke was of the 
same order that found out the vse of gunpouder, and 
the engines of warre therto belonging. Those that 
' writ of these matters call this Beliall Chodar of the east, 
that hath all witches and coniurers spirits vnder his 
iurisdiction, & giues themleaue to helpejuglers in their 
tricks, and Simon Magus to doo miracles ; allwaies pro- 
uided they bring a soule home to their master for his hyre. 
Yet are not these all, for there are spirits called 
spies and tale-cariers, obedient to Ascaroth, whom the 
Greekes call Daimona, and S. John, the accuser of the 
brethren : also tempters, who for their interrupting vs in 
al our good actions are cald our euill angels. Aboue 
all things they hate the light, and reioyce in darkness, 
disquieting men maliciously in the night, & sometimes 
hurt them by pinching them, or blasting them as they 
sleepe ; but they are not so much to be dreaded as other 
spirites, because if a man speak to them they flee away, 
and will not abide. Such a spirit Plinius Secundus 


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telleth of, that used to haunt a goodly house in Athens 
that Athenodorus hired : and such another Suetonius 
descriheth to haue long houered in Lamianus garden, 
where Caligula lay huried ; who for because hee was 
onely couered with a fewe clods, and vnreuently throwne 
amongst the weedes, hee meruailously disturbed the 
owners of the garden, & would not let them rest in their 
beds, till by his sisters, returned from banishment, 
he was takerx vp, & entoombed solemnly. Pausanias 
avoucheth (amongst other experiments) that a cer- 
taine spirit called Zazilus doth feed vpon dead mens 
corses, that are not deeply enterred as they ought: 
which to confirme, there is a wonderfull accident set 
downe in the Danish historic of Asuitus and Asmundus, 
who, being too famous frends (well knowen in those 
parts) vowd one to another, that which of them two out- 
lined the other shuld be buried aliue with his frend that 
first died. In short space Asuitus fell sicke and yeelded 
to nature : Asmundus, compelled by the oathe of his 
friendship, took none but his horse and his dog with 
him, and transported the dead bodie into a vast caue 
vnder the earth, and ther determined, hauing victualed 
himselfe for a long time, to finish his dayes in darknes, 
and neuer depart from him that he loued so dearlie. 

Thus shut vp, and enclosed in the bowels of the earth, 
it hapned Eritus, King of Sweveland, to passe that way 
with his armie, not full two moneths after; who coming 
to the toombe of Asuitus, and suspecting it a place 
where treasure was hidden, caused his pioneers with 
their spades and mattockes to dig it vp: whereupon 
was discouered the loathsome body of Asmundus, al to 
besmeared with dead mens filth, and his visage most 
vgly and flfearfuU, which imbrued with congealed bloud, 
and eaten and torne like a raw vlcer, made him so 
gastly to behold, that all the lookers on were afFrighted. 


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Hee, seeing himselfe restored to light, and so many 
amazed men stand abont him, resolned their yncertaine 
perpleadtie in these tearmes. ** Why stand ye astonisht 
at my vnusual deformities, when no lining man conuer- 
seth with the dead but is thus disfigured ? But other 
causes haue effected this alteration in me ; for I know 
not what audacious spirit, sent by Gorgon from the deep, 
hath not only most rauenously deuoured my horse and 
my dog, but also hath laid his himgrie pawes vpon mee, 
and, tearing downe my cheekes as you see, hath like- 
wise rent away one of mine eares. Hence it is that my 
mangled shape seemes so monstrous, and my humane 
image obscured with gore in this wise. Yet scaped not 
this fell harpie from mee vnreuengd : for, as he as- 
saird me, I raught his head from his shoulders, and 
sheathed my sword in his body." Haue spirits their 
visible bodies, said I, that may be toucht, wounded, or 
pierst ? Beleeue me, I neuer heard that in my life be- 
fore this. Why, quoth he, although in their proper 
essence they are creatures incorporal, yet can they take 
vpon them the induments of any liuing body whatsoeuer, 
and transforme themselues into all kinde of shapes, 
whereby they may more easily deceiue our shallow wits 
and senses. So testifies Basilius, that they can put on 
a materiall forme when they list. Socrates affirmeth 
that his daemon did oftentimes talke with him, & that 
he saw & felt him many times. But Marcus Cherone- 
sius (a wonderfull di^couerer of diuels) writeth, that 
those bodies which they assume are distinguisht by no 
difference of sex, because they are simple, and the dis- 
cemaunce of sex belongs to bodies compound. Yet are 
they flexible, motiue, and apt for any configuration, 
but not al of them alike ; for the spirits of the fire and 
aire haue this power aboue the rest. The spirits of the 
water haue slow bodies resembling birds and women, of 

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which kinde the Naiades and Nereides are much cele* 
brated amongst poets. Neuertheles^ howeuer they are 
restrayned to their seuerall similitudes, it is certaine that 
all of them desire no forme or figure so much as the 
likenesse of a man, & doo thinke themselves in heauen 
when they are infeoft in that hue. Wherefore I know no 
other reason but this, that man is the neerest representa* 
tion to God, in so much as the scripture saith, ** He made 
man after his own likenesse and image ;^* and they affect- 
^Sf ^7 reason of their pride, to bee as like God as they 
may, contend most seriously to shroud themselues vnder 
that habit. 

But, I pray, tell mee this, whether are there (as 
Porphirius holdeth) good spirits aswell as euill? Nay, 
certainly, (quoth he) we are al evill, let Phorphirius, Pro- 
clus, Apuleius, or the Platonists dispute to the contrary 
as long as they will ; which I will confirme to thy capa- 
city by the names that are euerie where giuen vs in the 
Scripture ; for the deuill, which is the mmmum genus to 
vs all, is called Diaboltu quasi deorsum ruens, that is to 
say, falling downward, as he that aspyring too high was 
thrown from the top of felicitie to the lowest pit of de- 
spayre; and Sathan, that is to say, an aduersary, who, for 
the corruption of his malyce, opposeth himselfe euer 
against God, who is the chiefest good. In Job Behemoth 
and Leuiathan, and in the 9 of the Apocalips, Apolion, 
that is to say, a subuerter ; because the foundation of 
those yertues, which our high Maker hath planted in our 
soules, hee vndermineth and subuerteth. A serpent for 
his poysoning, a lyon for his deuouring ; a furnace, for 
that by his malyce the elect are tryed, who are vessels of 
wrath and saluation. In Esay a syren, a lamia, a 
scrich-owle, an estridge. In the P&almes, an adder, a 
basiliske, a dragon ; and lastlie, in the gospel, Mammon, 
prince of this world, and the gouernour of darknes. So 



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that, by the whole course of condemning names that are 
gyuen vs, and no one instance of any fauorable tytle be- 
stowed vppon vs, I positiuely set downe that all spirits 
are euill. Now, whereas the diuines attribute vnto vs 
these good and euill spirits, the good to guide vs from 
euill, and the euill to draw ts from goodnesse, they are 
not called spirites, but angells, of which sort was Ra- 
phaell, the good angell of Tobias, who exilde the euill 
spirite Asmodius into the desart of Egipt, that he might 
bee the more secure from his temptation. Since we haue 
entred thus far into the deuills common-wealth, I beseech 
you certefie me thus much, whether haue they power to 
hurt granted them from God or from themselues ? can 
they hurt as much as they will ? Not so, quoth hee, for 
although that diuells be most mightie spirits, yet can 
they not hurt but permissiuely, or by some special dis- 
pensation : as when a man is falne into the state of an out- 
law, the lawe dispenseth with them that kils him, & the 
prince excludes liim from the protection of a subiect, so, 
when a man is a relaps from God and his lawes, God 
withdrawes his prouidence from watching ouer him, & 
authorizeth the deuil, as his instrument, to assault him 
and torment him, so that whatsoeuer he dooth, is Undiata 
potestaie, as one saith ; insomuch as a haire cannot fall 
from our heads, without the will of our heauenly father. 
The diuell could not deceiue Achabs prophetes till 
he was licensed by God, nor exercise his tyrannic ouer 
Job, til he had giuen him commission, nor enter into the 
heard of swine, til Christ bad them goe. Therefore, need 
you not feare the diuel any whit, as long as you are in 
the fauour of God, who raineth him so straight, that ex- 
cept he let him loose he can doo nothing. This manlike 
proportion, which I now retaine, is but a thing of suf- 
france, granted vnto me to plague such men as hunt after 
strife, and are delighted with variance. It may bee so 


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Terie well ; but whether haue you that skill to foretell 
things to come, that is ascribed vnto you ? We haue 
(quoth he) sometimes; not that we are priuy to the 
etemall counsel of God, but for that by sense of our ayrie 
bodies we haue a more refined faculty of foreseeing, than 
men possibly can haue that are chained to such heauie 
earthly moulder ; or els for that by the incomparable 
pemicitie of those ayrie bodies, we not onely out-strip the 
swiftnes of men, beasts and birds, wherby we may be able 
to attain to the knowledge of things sooner, than those 
that by the dulnes of their earthly sense come a great 
way behinde vs. Hereunto may we adjoin our long ex- 
perience in the course of things from the beginning of 
the world, which men want, and, therefore, cannot haue 
that deep conjecture that we haue. Nor is our know- 
ledge any more than coniecture, for prescience only be- 
longeth to God ; & that gesse that we haue proceedeth 
from the compared disposition of heauenly & earthly bo- 
dies, by whose long obserued temperature we doo diuine 
manie times as it happens : & therefore doo we take 
vpon vs to prophecy, that we may purchase estimation 
to our names, & bring men in admiration with that we 
doo, and so be counted for gods. The myracles wee work 
are partly contriued by illusion, and partly assisted by that 
supematurall skill we haue in the experience of nature 
aboue al other creatures. — ^But against these allusions of 
your subtiltie and vaine terrors you inflict, what is our 
chiefe refuge ? — I shalbe accounted a foolish diuel anone, 
if I bewray the secrets of our kingdome as I haue begun $ 
yet speak I no more than learned clarkes haue written, 
and asmuch as they haue set downe will I shew thee. 

Origen, in his Treatise against Celsus, saith there 
is nothing better for him that is vexed with spirits, than 
the naming of Jesu, the true God ; for he auoucheth he 
hath seen divers driuen out of mens bodies by that 


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meanes. Athanasius in his booke De wmis gneitiamhm 
saith, the presentest remedie against the inuasion of euill 
spirits is the beginning of the 67 Psakne, Exurgat Deu9, 
Sf di89^eniur immici efua. Cyprian counsailes men to 
abiure spirits onely by the name of the true God. Some 
hold that fire is a preseruatiue for this purpose, because 
when any spirit appeareth^ the lights by little and little 
goe out, as it were of their owne accord, and the taper* 
are by degrees extiuguisht. Others by inuocating vpon 
God, by the name of Vehicubim ignis superioriSi and 
often rehearsing the articles of our faith. A third sort 
are perswaded that the brandishing of swords is good for 
this purpose, because Homer faineth, that Ulisses, sacri* 
ficing to his mother, wafted his sword in the aire to 
chase the spirits from the bloud of the sacrifice : and 
Sibilla, conducting iEneas to hell, begins her charmes in 
this sort. 

Procul, Oprocul, esteprophani : 
Tltguejuvande viam^ vaginaque eripe ferrum. 

FhilostratuB reporteth, that he and his companions meet- 
ing that diuel which artists entitle Apolonius, as they 
came one night from banquetting, with such termes as 
he is curst in holy writ, they made him run away how- 
ling. Manie in this case extoll perfume of Calamentum 
pceofda menia palma ChrUiiy and Appius. A number 
prefer the carying of red corrall about them, or of 
Arthemisia hypericonf ruta verbenas & to this effect 
manie doo vse the jyngling of keyes, the sound of the 
harp, and the clashing of armor. Some of old time put 
great superstition in characters curiously engraued in 
theyr Pentagonon, but they are all vaine, & will do no 
good, if they be otherwise vsed than as signes of coven- 
aunt betweene the diuell & them. Nor doo I ai&rme all 
the rest to be vnfallible prescriptions, though sometime 


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they haue their vse ; but that the onely assured way to 
resist their attempts is prayer and faith, gainst which all 
the diuells in hell cannot preuaile. Inough, gentle spirit : 
I wil importune thee no farther, but commit this Suppli- 
cation to thy care ; which, if thou deliuer accordingly, 
thou shalt at thy retume haue more of my custome, for 
by that time I wil haue finished certain letters to diuers 
orators & poets, dispersed in your dominions. — Thats as 
occasion shal serue ; but now I must take leaue of you, 
for it is terme time, and I haue some busines. A gen* 
tleman (a firend of mine, that I neuer saw before) stayes 
for me, and is like to be vndone if I come not in to bear 
witnes on his side. Wherefore BazUez manua till our 
next meeting. 

Gentle reader, tandem aUquando I am at leasure to 
talke to thee. I dare say thou hast called me a hundred 
times dolt for this senseles discourse : it is no matter^ 
thou dost but as I haue done by a number in my dayes ; 
for who can abide a scuruie pedling poet to plucke a 
man by the sleeue at euerie third step in Paules Church* 
yard, and when hee comes in to suruey his wares, theres 
nothing but purgations and vomits wrapt vp in wast 
paper. It were verie good the dogwhipper in Paules 
would haue a care of this in his unsaverie visitation euerie 
Saterday, for it is dangerous for such of the queenes liedge 
people as shall take a viewe of them fasting. 

Lfooke to it, you booksellers & stationers, and let not 
your shops be infected with any such goose gyblets, or 
stinking garbadge as the jygs of newsmongers; and 
especially such of you as frequent Westminster Hall, let 
them be circumspect what dunghill papers they bring 
thether: for one bad pamphlet is inough to raise a 
dampe that may poyson a whole terme, or at the least a 
number, of poore clyents, that haue no money topreuent 
il aire by breaking their fasts ere they come thether* 


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Not a base Jack-dropper^ or scuruie plodder at JVoferjfi/, 
but yailes his asses eares on euery poast^ & comes off 
with long circumqttaque to the gentlemen readers ; yea, 
the mostexcerementarie dislikers of learning are growne 
80 valiant in impudence, that now they set vp their faces 
(like Turks) of gray paper, to be spet at for siluer game 
in Finsburie Fields. Whilst I am thus talking, me 
thinkes I heare one say, what a fop is this 1 he entitles his 
Booke a Supplication to the Diuell, & doth nothing but 
raile on ideots, and tells a storie of the nature of spirits. 
Haue patience, good sir, and weele come to you by and 
by. Is it my title you finde fault with ? Why, haue 
you not seene a towne surnamed by the principall house 
in the towne, or a noble man deriue his baronie from a 
little village where he hath least land ? So fareth it by 
me in christening of my booke. But some will obiect, 
wheretoo tends this discourie of diuels, or how is it in- 
duc'd? Forsooth, if thou wilt needs know my reson, 
this it is. I bring Pierce Penilesse to question with the 
diuel, as a yong nouice would talke with a great trauailer^ 
who, carying an Englishmans appetite to enquire of 
news, will be sure to make what vse of him he may, and 
not leaue any thing vnaskt, that he can resolue him of. 
If, then, the diuell be tedious in discoursing, impute it to 
Fierce Penilesse that was importunate in demanding : 
or if I haue not made him so secret or subtill in his art, 
as diuels are wont, let that of Lactantius be mine excuse, 
lib 2, cap 16 de Origenis errore, when he saith the diuels 
haue no power to lie to a just man ; and if they abiure 
them by the maiesty of the high God, they will not onely 
confesse themselues to be diuels, but also tell their names 
as they are. DeiiS bone I what a vaine am I fallen into ! 
What ! an epistle to the readers in the end of thy booke ? 
Out vpon thee for an arrant blocke, where learndst thou 
that wit? O, sir, hold your peace: a fellow neuer 


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comes to his answere before the offence be committed. 
Wherefore, if I in the beginning of my book should haue 
come off with a long apologie to excuse my selfe, it were 
all one, as if a theefe, going to steale a horse, should deuise 
by the way as he went what to speake when he came at 
the gallowes. Here is a crosse way, and I thinke it good 
heere to part. Farewell, farewell, good Parenthesis, and 
commend me to Ladie Vanitie, thy mistres. 

Now, Pierce Peniles, if for a parting blow thou hast ere 
a tricke in thy budget more than ordinarie, bee not daintie 
of it, for a good patron will pay for all. I, where is he P 
Promissis quUibet dives esse potest. But cap and thanks 
is all our courtiers payment ; wherefore, I would counsell 
my frends to be more considerate in their dedications, 
and not cast away so many months labour vppon a 
clowne that knowes not how to vse a schoUer : for, what 
reason haue I to bestow any of my wit vpon him, that 
Will bestow none of his wealth vpon me ? Alas, it is an 
easie matter for a goodlie tall fellow, that shines in his 
silkes, to come and out face a poore simple pedant in a 
thred-bare cloake, and tell him his booke is prety, but at 
this time he is not prouided for him. Marrie, about two 
or three daies hence if he come that way, his page shal 
say he is not within, or els he is so busie with my L. 
How-call-ye him, and my L. What-call-ye-him, that he 
may not be spoken withall. These are the common 
courses of the world, which euery man priuately mur- 
mures at, but none dares openly vpbraid, because the most 
artists are base minded : like the Indians, that haue store 
of gold & precious stones at commaund, yet are ignorant 
of their value, and therefore let the Spaniards, the English- 
men, & euery one load their ships with them without mo« 
testation ; so they, enioying and possessing the puritie of 
knowledge, (a treasure Carre richer than the Indian mynes) 
let euerie proud Thraso be pertaker of their perfections. 


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repaying them no profit, and gyld himself with the titles 
they giue him^ when be wil scarce return them a good 
word for their labor. Giue an ape but a nut^ and he wil 
looke your head for it ; or a dog a bone, and hele wag his 
tayle ; but giue me one of my young masters a booke, 
and he will put off his hat and blush, and so goe his way. 

Yes, now I remember me, I lye ; for I know him 
that had thankes for three yeares worke, and a gentle- 
man that bestowed much cost in refining of musicke, & 
had scarse fidlers wages for his labor. We want an 
Aretine here among vs, that might strip these golden 
asses out of their gay trappings, and after he had 
ridden them to death with rayling, leaue them on the 
dunghil for carion. But I will write to his ghost by my 
carrier, & I hope hele repaire his whip, and vse it 
against our English peacockes, that painting them- 
selues with church spoyles, like mightie mens sepul- 
chers, haue nothing but atheisme, schisme, hypocrisie, 
and vainglory, like rotten bones lurking within them. 
O ! how my soule abhors these buckram giants, that 
hauing an outward face of honor set vpon them by flat- 
terers & parasites, haue iheyr inward thoughts stuft 
with straw and fethers, if they were narrowly sifted. 

Farre be it, bright starres of nobilitie, and glistring 
attendaunts on the true Diana, that this my speach 
should be anie way injurious to your glorious magni* 
ficence, for in you line those sparkes of Augustus libe- 
ralitie, that neuer sent any away emptie ; and science 
seauenfold throne, welnigh ruined by riot and auarice, 
is mightely supported by your plentiful largesse, which 
makes poets to sing such goodly hymnes of your praise, 
as no enuious posteritie may forget. But from ge- 
nerall fame, let me digres to my priuate experience, 
and, with a tongue vnworthie to name a name of such 
worthines, affectionately emblazon, to the eyes of won- 


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der, the matchless image of honor, & magnificent re- 
warder of yertue, Joves eagle-borne Ganimede, thrice 
noble Amintas, in whose high spirit such a deitie of wis* 
dome appeareth, that if Homer were to write his Odyssea 
new, (where, vnder the person of Vlysses, he describeth 
a singular man of perfection, in whome all the ornaments 
both of peace and war are assembled in the height of 
their excelence) he need no other instance to augment his 
conceipt, than the rare cariage of his honorable minde. 
Many writers and good wits are giuen to commend their 
patrons and benefactors, some for prowesse, some for po- 
licy, others for the glorie of their ancestrie and exceeding 
bountie and liberalitie ; but if my vnable pen should euer 
enterprise such a continuate taske of praise, I would em- 
bowell a number of those wind-puft bladders, and dis- 
furnish their bald pates of the perriwigs poets haue lent 
them, that so I might restore glorye to his right inherit- 
ance, and these stolne titles to their true owners : which, 
if it would so fall out, (as time may worke all things) the 
aspiring nettles, with their shadie tops, shall no longer 
ouer-dreep the best hearbs^ or keep them from the smiling 
aspect of the sunne, that line and thriue by comfortable 
beames. None but Desert should sit in Fame's grace, none 
but Hector be remembred in the chronicles of prow esse, 
none but thou, most courteous Amyntas, bee the second 
musicall argument of the Knight of the Red-crosse. 

Oh decus atque csvi gloria summa iui. 

And here (heauenly Spencer) I am most highly to ac- 
cuse thee of forgetfulnes, that in that honourable cata- 
logue of our English heroes, which insueth the conclusion 
of thy famous Fairie Queene, thou wouldest let so speciall 
a piller of nobilitie passe vnsaluted. The verie thought 
of his farre deriued discent, and extraordinarie parts, 
wherewith hee astoineth the world, and drawes all hearts 


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to his loue, would haue inspired thy forewearied muse with 
new furie to proceede to the next triumphs of thy stately 
goddesse ; but as I, in favor of so rare a scholer, suppose 
with this counsaile he refraind his mention in this first 
part^ that he might with full saile proceede to his due 
commendations in the second. Of this occasion long 
since I happened to frame a sonnet, which, being wholly 
intended to the reuerence of this renoumed lord (to whom 
I owe all the vtmost powers of my loue and duetie j I 
meant here for varietie of style to insert. 

Perusing yesternight, with idle eyes, 
The Fairy Singer's stately tuned verse, 
And viewing, after chap-mens wonted guise. 
What strange contents the tytle did rehearse ; 
I streight leapt ouer to the latter end, 
Where, like the queint comaedians of our time 
That when their play is doone doe fall to ryme, 
I found short lynes, to sundry nobles pend. 
Whom he as speciall mirrours singled fourth 
To be the patrons of his poetry. 
I read them all, and reuerenc't their worth. 
Yet wondred he left out thy memory ; 
But therefore gest I he supprest thy name, 
Because few words might not comprise thy fame. 

Beare with mee, gentle Poet, though I conceiue not 
aright of thy purpose, or be too inquisitiue into the intent 
of thy oblivion ; for, how euer my coniecture may misse 
the cushion, yet shall my speech sauour of friendship, 
though it be not allied to judgement. 

Tantum hoc moKor in this short digression, to acquaint 
our coimtrymen, that lyue out of the eccho of the courte, 
with a common knowledge of his inualuable vertues, and 
shew my selfe thankfuU (in some part) for benefits re- 
ceyued ; which, silice words may not counteruayle that 


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are the usual lyp -labor of euery idle discourser, I conclude 
with that of Ouid. 

Accipeper longos iibi qui deserviat annos^ 
Accipe quipura novit amarefide. 

And if my zeale and duety (though all to meane to 
please) may by any industry be reformed to your gra- 
cious liking, I submit the simplicitie of my endeuours to 
your seruice, which is all my performance may prefer, or 
my abilitie performe. 

Prcebeat Alcmnpoma beniffnta offer ^ 
Officium pauper numeret studiumque fidemque. 

And so I breake off tliis endlesse argument of speeche 


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Page 5» line 23^ Divines and dying men may talke of hell^ 

But in my heart her several torments dweU.] 

This couplet, as stated in the Introduction, is found in <' The Yorkshire 
Tragedy," 4to. 1608, attributed to Shakespeare, having been printed with 
his name on the title-page, and afterwards inserted in the folio volume of 
his works published in 1664. The lines had been previously taken possession 
of by that notorious plagiary, S. Nicholson, who in 1600 printed a small 
volume, which he called " Acolastus his Afterwitte." They there stand as 
follows :^ 

'* If on the earth there may be found a hell. 
Within my soule her several torments dwell." 

** Acolastus his Afterwitte" is made up of unquoted quotations from authors 
of the time, including Shakespeare, from whose " Venus and Adonis " and 
♦* Lucrece " S. N. borrowed, or rather stole largely. 

Page 7, line 12, the exployts of Untrusse.] It appears, from the 
original letter by Nash, which is printed in the *' Hist of Engl. Dram. 
Poetry and the Stage" (i. 303), that Anthony Munday was the writer of 
this ballad of" Untruss." " O, it is detestable (says Nash, writing to Sir 
Robert Cotton) and abhominable, far worse then Munday 's ballet of Un- 
trusse, or Gillian of Braynfords Will." The whole letter is a very curious 
and valuable relic of the time : no doubt there was some " pamphlet in 
praise of pudding pricks," and " a treatise of Tom Thumb," printed about 
the same date. 

Page 8, line 17, 1, I> wele giue loosers leaue to talke.] It must be borne 
in mind that the affirmative Ai/ was almost invariably expressed by a ca- 
pital / at the period when this tract was printed. In a passage in " Romeo 
and Juliet" (act iii. sc. 2), it is necessary to preserve the old spelling in this 
respect, in consequence of the play upon the " bare vowel " /. 

'* Hath Romeo slain himself? say thou but I, 
And that bare vowel 1 shall poison more 
Than the death*darting eye of cockatrice," &c. 


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NOTES. 96 

Paf^e lly line 7, a short thrid*bare gowne on his backe,&c*t with moath- 
eaten budge.] Budge was a common kind of fur, often mentioned in our 
old writers. Stowe, in his '' Survey >" informs us that Budge-row was so 
called ** of budge fur, and of the skinners dwelling there." Thoms's Edit. 
p. 94. Ben Jonson, in his *' Bartholomew Fair " (act L so. 1), speaks of 
the ** coney-skin woman of Budge-row/' 

Page 11, line 30, retyred me to Paules, to seeke my dinner with Duke 
Humfrey.] The allusions in our old comic writers to dining with Duke 
Humphrey, in tlie walks of St. Paul's Church, are almost endless. In W. 
Rowley's ** Match at Midnight,*' act ii. sc. i., Jarvis inquires, ** Are they 
none of Duke Humfreys furies ? do you think they devised this plot in 
Pauls to get a dinner?" See also Bishop Hall's Satires, 1597 (sat. 7), 
G. Harvey's '' Four Letters," &c. 1592, Dekker's '* Gull's Hornbook," 

Page 12, line 14, A knight of the post, quoth he.] A knight of the post 
was a person who received money for giving bail for a debtor, or other 
party in custody. The teha was sometimes used for a cheat generally. 
To the particular personage employed by Nash on this occasion, his con- 
temporary, T. M., refers in '' The Black Book," 1604, 4to. Sig. B 2. 

'* The blacke Knight of the Poste shortly retumes 
From Hell, where many a Tobacc'nist burnes." 

Nothing could be more easy than to accumulate similar allusions to these 

Page 13, line 3, Marquesse of Conytus.] Of course " Conytus " is a 
misprint for Cocytus, but it runs through the second and other edi- 
tions of the tract. " Lymbo," afterwards mentioned, is the Limbus Pa- 
trum, where the patriarchs, &c., were supposed to be confined until they 
were set at liberty on the descent of the Saviour. Lymbo, or Limbo, was 
often used as the cant word for any prison or place of durance. See Shake- 
speare's '* Henry WIU,^** act v. sc. 3. 

Page 14, line 6, 1 knowe a great sort of good fellows.] i. e. a great com" 
pony of good fellows : " sort " is perpetually used in the sense of collection, 
or company, in our old writers. 

Page 14, line 15, set in onion skind jackets.] This is the reading of the 
second edition : the first has " set in onions kind jackets." 

Page 14, line 23, with angle hookes instead of aglets.] Aglets, properly 
aiguUleUes, were the ends or tags of strings used to fasten or sustain dress. 
These tags sometimes represented small figures, and hence Grumio's 
" aglet baby," in '' The Taming of the Shrew," act i. sc 2. 

Page 14, line 28, bumbasted tjiey were, like beer barrels.] It was the 


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96 NOTES. 

fashion of the time to stuff out the lower part of the dress of men with cot^ 
ton, wool, or horse-hair. Hence, in *' Henry IV.," part i.. Prince Henry 
calls Falstaff '' my sweet creature of bombast " — act iL sc. 4. 

Page 16, line 4, and a saijants mace in his mouth.] A bailiff, at the 
date when this tract was written, was called a ** serjeant." 

Page 16, line 19, in steed of oyle, to sayme wool withall.] To " sayme'* 
is to greeue. Seme is Saxon for tallow, or hogslard. In Welsh it is spelt 
saim, Shakespeare uses the word in '^Troilus and Cressida," act ii. sc. 2. 

Page 17, line 7, a squier of low degree.] ** The Squyre of Lowe De- 
gree" is the title of an old romance printed by W. Copland, and inserted by 
Ritson in vol. iii. of his Collection of Romances. It is one of the compara- 
tiTely few productions of the kind which was of English origin, though 
perhaps they are more numerous than Ritson imagined. 

Page 17, line 16, his spade peake.] Alluding to the cut of his beard, 
which was shaped like such a spade as came to a point, or peak, and not 
square, as they are now usually made. 

Page 17, line 23, that hath beene but once at Deepe.] i. e. at Dieppe, 
as '' Roan " above is Rouen. 

Page 18^ line 29, A young heyre, or cockney, that is his mother's darling.] 
Dekker,inhis ''Knights Conjuring," (recently reprinted for the Percy So- 
ciety, under the editorial care of Mr. Rimbault, the Secretary) derives the 
word "cockney" from cockering; and in " The Contention between Libe- 
rality and Prodigality," 1602, one of the characters says, '' I was at first 
like a cockney dandled." 

Page 19, line 7> haberdine and poor John] Poor John was dried and 
salted fish — ^hake ', and " haberdine " was food of a similar kind, viz. salt 
cod — hahordean, French. 

Page 20, line 22, like the Barrowists and Greenwoodians] Henry 
Barrow and John Greenwood were executed in the beginning of 1593, 
(6 April) very soon after this tract by Nash had been published. The in- 
terrogatories which they were required to answer with reference to their 
works and tenets, may be found in detail in ''TheEgerton Papers," (pub- 
lished by the Camden Society, from the originals in the possession of Lord 
Francis Egerton) p. 166, et seq. 

Page 21, line 4, but a needle in his bosome.] This " artificer " was a 
tailor. Francis Thynn, in his admirable poem, '' The Debate betweene 
Pride and Lowlines," (Shakespeare Society's publications) from which Ro- 
bert Greene took his " Quip for an Upstart Courtier," 1592, thus con- 
cludes his description of a tailor : 

** He coudiscended soone to our request : 
Then I, beholding him advisedly. 


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NOTES. 97 

Sawe where a needle sticked an his brest. 
And at the same a blacke thread hanging by." 

Page 22, line 2, Mother Bunches slymie ale ] Mother Bunch was^ no 
doubt, some well known ale-wife of the time, in 1604 was published a 
jest-book, entitled " Pasquib Jests, mixed with Mother Bunches Merri- 
ments," and it was reprinted in 1629, with some additions, but with the 
omission a part of the book called <' A Doozen of Guiles." Dekker in his 
" Satiromastix," 1602, introduces a mention of Mother Bunch. 

Page 22, line 15, coystrells] i. c. properly kestrels, a degenerate kind of 
hawk, and metaphorically used for a coward, or a bully. Shakespeare 
uses the word in '* Twelfth Night." 

Page 22, line 24, and a good legge.] Probably, we are here to take " a 
good leg " for a handsome bow, the meaning being, that the seven liberal 
sciences and humble deportment will scarce procure bread and cheese for 
a scholar. " To make a leg " was synonymous with bowing. In " Timon 
of Athens," act i. sc. 2, Apemantus says of the servile guests, 

" I doubt whether their legs are worth the sums 
That are given for 'em." 

Page 23, line 7> Ulisses was a tall man.] Tall in the language of the 
time was bold, courageous. Nothing can well be more common than the 
use of " tall " in this sense. 

Page 23, line 22, a rebater.] Commonly spelt rehatoe, a portion of dress 
▼ery much in fashion at this period, and often mentioned in '* Patient 
Grissill," 1603, reprinted by the Shakespeare Society. It was a species of 
ruff much stiffened, and it has been derived by Menage, from the Fr. ra- 
6a</r0,. because at first it was nothing but the collar turned back. 

Page 25, line 6, wholly compact of deceivable courtship.] i. e. entirely . 
made, or composed of it. The word compact is frequently so used by 
Shakespeare. Thus in " The Comedy of Errors," act iii. sc. 2, it is said 
that women are *' compact of credit, or made of credulity. In "As You 
Like It," act ii. sc. T, we have " compact of jars ;" in " Midsummer Night's 
Dream," act v. sc. i. "of imagination all compact," &c. Afterwards in this 
tract we are told that Lucifer before his fall was *' a cleere bodie, compact 
of the purest and brightest of the ayre." 

Page 28, line 29, after the colour of a newe Lord Mayor* s posts^ Al- 
luding to the custom of- painting the posts of the house inhabited by the 
Lord Ma) or. The painting of the sheriffs' posts is over and over again 
spoken of by old writers. The latter part of the sentence refers to the pa- 
geants exhibited in the city on Lord Mayor's day, then the 29th of October 
in each year. 



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98 NOTES. 

Page 28^ line 31, if a painter were to draw any of these counterfeits.] 
" Counterfeit" was the most common word for a portrait, and a " table " 
for the canvass, or panel, on which it was painted. 

Page 29, line 2, the ballet of Blue SUrch and Poaking Stickes.] The 
name of any such '' sin-washing poet " has not reached our day, nor indeed 
the ballad here celebrated. Blue starch was used for stiffening ruffs, &c., 
and seems to have preceded yellow starch, which was in the highest fashion 
in the reign of James 1. Mrs. Turner, who was executed for being coo- 
cerned in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, was a maker of it. '* Po- 
king sticks," or poting sticks, as they were sometimes called, were used ui 
setting ruff», and are often mentioned, especially by Stubbes, in his '' Ana- 
tomy of Abuses," 1583, 8vo. 

Page 29, line 6, like a lanterne and candle man] i. e. like a watc\) man, 
who '' went up and downe," calling upon people to hang out lanterns and 
candles for the purpose of lighting the streets. At Bridgewater House 
is preserved a series of plates of the '' Cries of London," and one of them 
represents a watchman with his lantern and halbert, while over his head is 
engraved the following inscription, '' Lanthorne and a whole candell light : 
hang out your lights heare." See the ** Bridgewater Catalogue," 1837, 
4 to. p. 76, where a fac-simile of the engraving is given. 

Page 30, line 5, tinne and pewter are more esteemed than Latine.] A 
quibble upon the word Latin, which was the name of a mixed metal, fre* 
quently mentioned with a similar play upon the word : ^* tin and pewter" 
seem intended to express money, as, indeed, they are used at this day. 
Long Lane,Smithtield, was a place full of brokers' or pawnbrokers' shops in 
the reign of Elizabeth and James T. 

Page 30, line 11, Ploiden's standish] i. e. Edmund Plowden's, the great 
lawyer's, inkstand. Plowden died in 1585. 

Page 30, line 23, said it was the foulest place he could spie out in all his 
house.] lliis story is told in Sachetti's novels, and no doubt in many other 
works. Sachetti tells it of the palace of a nobleman of Italy. 

Page 30, line 27> a plume of the Phenix.] Here again Nash has been 
at the Italian novelists. This refers to the tale of Frsete Cipolla in Bocaccio, 
as it was reformed by command of the pope in some of the later editions of 
the "Decameron." In the original story, as written by Bocaccio, the 
plume was not that of the phcenix, but of the angel Gabriel, when he de- 
scended at the time of the Salutation. 

Page 30, line 28, A thousand jymians,] I do not recollect the word 
*' jymiam" to have occurred in any other writer : Shakespeare has " ghn- 
mal" in " Henry VI." part i. (act i. sc. 2), and '' gimmal bit " is met with 
iu " Henry V." (act iv. sc. 2.) It would not be at all unprecedented if the 


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NOTES. 99 

word '' jemmy," an instrument now used by housebreakerSi had as ancient 
an origin, for many old words are still preserved among the slang of the 
lower orders. Nash seems in the text to employ the word '* jymiam" just 
in the sense in which we use gimcrack now. Gimcraek is at least as old as 
the time of Beaumont and Fletcher. 

Page 31, line 32, Hey, passe, come aloft!] This was the ordinary ex- 
damation of conjurors, or jugglers, in performing their tricks, and it is still 
often employed by the same fraternity. 

Page 36, line 7) Tarlton and the rest of his fellowes.] At the date when 
Nash was writing, Richard Tarlton had been dead about four year^, having 
been buried in September, 1588. The queen selected her company of 
players in 1583 from the theatrical servants of some of her nobility, and of 
these Tarlton was one of the principal, his reputation and popularity being 
most extraordinary. He is mentioned by almost hundreds of writers of the 
time. Before 1590, Queen Elizabeth had two associations of actors in her 
pay, both calling themselves *' the Queen's Players/' See Cunningham's 
" Revels' Accounts" (published by the Shakespeare Society), " Introduc- 
tion," p. xxxii. The fame of Tarlton survived until the breaking out of the 
civil wars, and the suppression of theatrical performances. 

Page 36, line 16, and make no more account of her cloath in his presence. J 
It may be necessary to observe that the players of the queen were at first 
regularly supplied with cloth for cloaks, that they might wear her majesty's 
livery. After some time the practice seems to have been discontinued, and 
an allowance was made in consideration of the non- supply of cloth. 

Page 38, line 3, Not far from Chester, I knewe an odde foule-mouthde 
knaue, called Charles, the Fryer.] This tale is supposed to be founded on 
fact, and to relate to the person Ben Jonson has introduced into his *' Every 
Man out of his Humour," under the name of Carlo Buffune : his real name 
was Charles Chester, which Nash disguises by laying the scene near Ches- 
ter, and by calling the hero a friar. 

Page 39, line 10, Cornelius Agrippa De Vanitate Scientiarum.] This 
work had long been translated into English, by James Sandford, under the 
title of " Of the Vanitie and Uncertaintie of Artes and Sciences," 4to. Lon- 
don, 1569. It was reprinted several times, and, when Nash wrote, it was 
very popular. 

Page 39, line 1 1, a treatise that I have seen in dispraise of learning.] 
Such as the Morup Encomium of Erasmus, which was translated into Eng- 
lish by Sir Thomas Chaloner, and first printed in 1540 under the title of 
the " Praise of Follie." 

Page 40, line 10, one such rare poem as Rosamond.] By Samuel Daniel ; 
first printed in the year when Nash's '^ Pierce penniless" came out. It 

H 2 

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100 NOTES. 

was appended to a collection of sonnets by Daniel^ called ** Delia/* and 
the work was so popular that it went through two editions in 1592^ 4to. 
Only one perfect copy of the first edition of 1592 appears to exist; and it is 
to be observed that '' The Complaint of Rosamond/' as it is there called^ 
contains no fewer than twenty>four stanzas not in the second impression of 
the same year. The second impression, however^ includes four sonnets not 
in the first. The following is one of them :^ 

My cares draw on mine euerlasting night. 

In horror's sjible clowdes sets my live's sunne ; 
' My live's sweet sunne, my deerest comfort's light. 

Will rise no more to me, whose day is dunne. 
I goe before unto the mirtle shades. 

To attend the presence of my world's deere ; 
And there prepare her flowres that neuer fade. 

And all things fit against her comming there. 
If any aske me, why so soone I came. 

He hide her sinne, and say it was my lot : 
In life and death He tender her good name ; 

My life nor death shall never be her blot. 
Although this world may seeme her deede to blame : 

Th' EUisean ghosts shall neuer know the same." 

Page 40, line 25, Silver-tongu'd Smith.] The marginal note shews that 
the Christian name of this poet began with '* H. Encomium H. Smithi." 
We have relics of several English versifiers of the name of Smith, but not 
one of them was H, Smith. The most noted of the Smiths was William, 
who wrote ** Chloris, or the Complaint of the passionate despised Sbep- 
heard," 1596, 4to. which was dedicated to Spenser. He is not to be con- 
founded with Wentworth Smith, who was himself confounded with Shake- 
speare, on account of the identity of their initials. 

Page 41, line 23, noble Salustrus.] i. e. William de Saluste du Bartas, 
with whose works Englishmen were beginning to be acquainted, as several 
of his productions had been translated by Joshua Sylvester in 1591. 

Page 41, line 27, Chaucer's host, Baly, in Southwarke.] We are not 
aware that the name of Chaucer's host in Southwark has been handed down 
on any other authority, since the time of the author of the " Canterbury 

Page 43, line 13, some tyrde jade of the presse.] Much that follows is 
directed against Gabriel Harvey and his brothers John and Richard : the 
former had named Nash '^ expressly in print." 

Page 44, line 26, Tarlton at the Theater made jests of him.] Tarlton 
was famous for his extemporal wit, and a volume of his " Jests" has come 


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NOTES. 101 

down to U9> some of which are of this kind. The earliest known edition of 
it was printed in 1611. '* The Theatre" was a place of dramatic amuse- 
ment so called^ at which Tarlton no doubt performed : it was situated like 
** The Curtain," another playhouse^ in Shoreditch. An account of both 
may be found in Vol. iii. of*' The History of English Dramatic Poetry and 
the Stage." See also Stow's "Survey," by Thoms, 1842, p. 158. 

Page 46, line 14, the vayn Pap-hatchet.] Meaning John Lilly, Lyly,or 
Lily, for his name is thus diversely spelt, the author of " Euphues," 1581, 
and various dramas. The work particularly alluded to in the text is a tract 
against Martin Marprelate, called ** Pap with a Hatchet, alias, a Fig for 
my Godson," &c. which was published without a date, but probably in 1589. 
It was at one time attributed to Nash, and it is written in obvious imitation 
of his satirical and objurgatory style. 

Page 49, line 11, Doctor Watson.] This must have been the Dr. Wat- 
son who was employed by Queen Elizabeth in some of her foreign negoci- 
ations, and elsewhere spoken of by Nash, not Thomas Watson, the author 
of *' BKorofiiraBta, or Passionate Century of Love," (printed about 1581) 
as we do not learn that he ever took the degree of doctor, either of divinity, 
medicine, or civil law. He died before Nash published his ''Have with you 
to Saffron Walden," in 1596, and was author of another work, of even 
greater rarity than his '' Eicaro/ifra^ca :" it was printed in 1593 under the 
title of ** The Teares of Fancie, or Love Disdained." It consists of sixty 
sonnets, but the only copy known (it is in a private library) wants two leaves, 
containing eight sonnets : we quote one of these productions, not only on 
account of its rarity, but on account of the remarkable simplicity and 
beauty of its versification : — 

'' Behold, dear Mistress, how each pleasant green 

Will now renew bis summer's livery : 

The fragrant flowers, which have, not long been seen. 

Will flourish now ere long in bravery. 

But 1, alas ! within whose mourning mind 

The grafts of grief are only given to grow. 

Cannot enjoy the Spring which others find,. 

But still my will must wither all in woe. 

The lusty ver, that whilom might exchange 

My grief to joy, and my delight increase. 

Springs now elsewhere, and shows to me but strange : 

My winters woe, therefore, can never cease. 

In other coasts his sun doth clearly shine. 

And comfort lends to every mould but mine. 
Page 49, line 34, to the provant of the Low Countries.] " Provant " means 


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102 NOTES. 

the provision or rations dealt out to the armyj the scantiness and quality 
of which, in the Low Countries, Nash contrasts with the flesh-pots of Egypt. 
'' Provant " was sometimes applied to the dress and weapons with which 
the soldiers were furnished : thus we hear of " provant sword " and " pro- 
vant breeches " in Massinger and Middleton. The word occurs in Shake- 
speare, Ben Jonson, and in many other writers of his time. 

Page 50, line 17, No I doo it, my friend, that I may not be carefull for 
the morrow.] A story, with precisely the same point, is contained in '' The 
Schoolmaster or Teacher of Table Phylosophie," 4to. 1576 and 1583, at- 
tributed to Thomas Twyne. It there runs as follows : — 

<' Phillip King of Fraunce having certaine poore priests with him at bis 
table at dinner, perceived one, that sate farthest off at the horde's end, con- 
veying an whole capon into his pocket : when dinner was ended the king 
called him aside, and enquired of him secretly what he studied ? who an- 
swered, divinity. Why, said the king, is it not written in the Scriptures 
that you should not be carefull for meat against the morrow ? Yea, said 
the Priest, and, therefore, because I would put away all carefulnes I have 
done this thing." 

Page 51. line 29, The dorter staires.] i.e. the dormitory stairs. It is 
sometimes spelt doriure, and is a contraction of the Latin dormiiura. The 
French write it dortoir. 

Page 52, line 3, keepe aloofe at Pancredge,"] So Pancras used formerly 
to be sometimes spelt. 

Page 52, line 7, in their snaphaunce bags.] A snaphaunce was a species 
of firelock, from the German schnaphans. We probably procured the wea- 
pon from Germany. 

Page 52, line 24, drinke super nagulum, &c.] Nash uses some of these 
driuking exclamations in his ^* Summers Last Will aod Testament," 1600 
(Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. ix. p* 49). " A vous, monsieur W^inter, a frolick 
upsey freeze, cross ho ! super nagulum,** " Frohck " and " upsey freeze " 
were no doubt introduced from Friesland. Super nagulum is used by Ben 
Jonson, or by his assistant, in " The Case is Alter'd," 1609, act iv. sc. 3, 
and is a corruption (as Nash^ in fact, explains in his marginal note) of super 

Page 52, line 29, a princockes.] Or a princox, was a coxcomb. 

Page 53, line 17, Clim of the CJough.] The names by which Nash from 
time to time addresses the devil, are generally applicable and easily under- 
stood : but why he should call him " Clim of the Clough " is not so clear. 
Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudeslie, were all famous 
archers, as we know by the celebrated ballad. The Devil is not usually 
represented as skilful with the bow, though his minister Death bears it. 


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NOTES. 103 

and uses it with unerring aim. Hence the beautiful apologue, in so many 
languages^ of Cupid and Death changing arrows by mistake, upon which 
James Shirley founded a dramatic entertainment, printed in 1653. 

Page 64j line 6, that euery man should take his hoope, and no more.] 
Jack Cade was not of this opinion when he declared (" Henry VI." pt. 2, 
vol. v. p. 187) " There shall be in England seven half-penny loaves sold 
for a penny: the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make 
it felony to drink small beer." 

Page 54, line 22, One of their breed it was that writ the booke De Arte 
Bibendi.] The following minute description of the ceremonies used in 
drinking a health is extracted from B. Rich's *' Irish Hubbub," printed 
without date, about 1618. ^' He that beginnes the health hath his pre- 
scribed orders; first, uncovering his head, hee takes a full cup in his hand, 
and setting his countenance with a grave aspect, he craves for audience. 
Silence being once obtained, hee beginnes to breath out the name, perad- 
venture of some honorable personage that is worthy of a better regard then 
to have his name polluted at so unfitting a time, amongst a company of 
drunkards : but his health is drunk too ; and hee that pledgeth must like- 
wise off with his cap, kisse his fingers, and bow himselfe in signe of a 
reverent acceptance. When the leader sees his follower thus prepared,, he 
sups up his broath, tumes the bottome of the cup upward, and in osten- 
tation of his dexteritie, gives the cup a phillip to make it cry Twango. And 
thus the first scene is acted. 

" The cup being newly replenished to the breadth of an haire, he that is 
the pledger must now beginne his part, and thus it goes round throughout 
the whole company ; provided alwayes by a canon set downe by the Founder, 
there must bee three at the least still uncovered, till the health hath had 
the fiiU passage ; which is no sooner ended but another begins againe, and 
bee drinkes an health to his Lady of little worth, or perad venture to his 
light heeVd mistress." 

Page 56, line 7, as Fol Long, the fencer, did.] We are not aware that 
the name of this worthy has survived in any other production of the time. 
Of course the event was well known, or Nash would have entered into 
more particulars. 

Page 56, line 26, like a stationer that I know.] Perhaps Nash owed 
this *' stationer " (whoever he might be) a grudge for not purchasing 
one of his pamphlets, and therefore immortalised, not his name, but his 
nature. At this date the term '^ stationer" included abo the business of 
a bookseller or publisher. 

Page 57, line 14, a retchlesse unthrift abroad.] '« Retchlesse " is pro- 
perly reckless, or careless. The word not unfrequently took this form. 


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104 NOTES. 

Page 58, line 7* everie inferior Bezonian.] " Bezonian " is a word which 
occurs several times in Shakespeare: " Henry IV.," pt ii. act v. sc. iii., 
"Henry VI.," pt. ii. act iv., sc. 2, &c. It is derived from the Italian, 
bisogno, need, or want, and Florio, in his dictionary, translates bisogno 
also " a fresh needy soldier." ^ 

Page 58, line 30, and so bid Atlante.] i. e. Atalanta : our printers were 
not at this date very careful in the orthography of proper name^. 

Page 59, line 18, some shallow-brayned censurers.] The principal an- 
tagonists of the stage, prior tu the year in which Nash's tract was published, 
were John Northbrooke, who wrote about 1577> Stephen Gosaon, 1579, 
Philip Stubbes, 1583, and William Rankins, 1587. Stephen Gossou's 
*' School of Abuse," first printed in 1579, and afterwards reprinted in 1587> 
is one of the publications of the Shakespeare Society. 

Page 59, line 20, the idlest time of the day.] The first edition of 
** Pierce Penniless has ** eldest time of the day ;" the correction was made 
in the second impression in the same year. 

Page 59, line 24, how vertuously it skUU not.] i. e. it does not signify ; 
this idiomatic expression was in very common use. 

Page 60, line 5, How would it have joy'd brave Talbot.] The paragraph 
thus commencing is supposed to refer to a lost play upon which Shakespeare 
founded his " Henry VI." part i . and not to Shakespeare's alteration and 
improvement of it. See Collier's Shakespeare, ** Introduction" to " Henry 
VI." part i. vol. v. p. 5. 

Page 60, line 12, anie collian,'\ Usually spelt cullian ; but Nash's mode 
comes nearer the supposed etymology of the word, viz., the Italian coglione, 
a scoundrel. 

Page 60, line 13, no imroortalitie can be given a man on earth like unto 
playes.] Upon this point we may quote the following from B. Rich's 
" Fruites of Long Experience," 1604, 4to. " But I cannot altogether 
blame the carelesnesse of the world, in that it is become so sparing of good 
indevours, when there is neither reward for well doing, nor recompence for 
good desert; nor so much as a memorandum for the most honourable enter- 
prise, how worthily soever performed, unless, perhaps, a little commenda- 
tion in a ballad ; or, if a man be favoured by a play-maker, he may some- 
times be canonized on a stage." 

Page 60, line 22, what a glorious thing it is to have Henry the Fifth re- 
presented on the stage.] This passage also refers to an old historical play 
on the reign of Henry V., which, in all probability, preceded that by 
Shakespeare. See the Introduction. 

Page 60, line 32, a merriment of the usurer and the devill.] '* A merri- 
ment *' was the name for a species of ludicrous dramatic entertainment, in 


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NOTES. 105 

which the clown or jester was principally concerned. Tarlton had his" mer- 
riments," and Kemp, who followed him in the same line of parts, also exhi- 
bited in that kind of performance. 

Page 61, line 11, the circumstances of this play and that play.] It is to 
be regretted that Nash did not give us a few more particulars, and some of 
the names of the plays containing these instructive lessons. It would have 
afforded a curious addition to our early stage history. Stephen Gosson, in 
his '< Schoole of Abuse'' (already reprinted by the Shakespeare Society), 
enters into a few details on the subject, but they are meagre and scanty, as 
he seems to have apprehended that the persons he was addressing were so 
well acquainted with the matter, that it was needless to do much more than 
to refer generally to some of the principal dramatic productions of his day. 

Page 61, line 14, Whereas some petitioners to the Counsaile.] The au- 
thor here seems to refer to a particular remonstrance against plays and 
players, addressed by the citizens of London to the privy council. None 
such of this date has come down to us, but it will be seen, by reference to 
the " Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage," vol. i., that about 
this time there had been some correspondence between Lord Burghley and 
the Lord Mayor of London on the subject of dramatic performances in and 
near the metropolis, and an attempt had been made to put down several of 
the companies acting under the names of different noblemen. 

Page 62, line 21, common curtezans to play women's parts.] It is well 
known that in England no women acted upon our public stage until about 
sixty years after Nash wrote. It was made a charge by the Puritans 
against the players, until after the Restoration, that boys, disguised as wo- 
men, performed the female characters at the different theatres. 

Page 62, line 31, famous Ned Allen.] Edward AUeyn, the founder of 
Dulwich College. See this passage, and another from the same tract, 
quoted in the " Memoirs of Edward AUeyn," (printed for the Shakespeare 
Society) p. 7. 

Page 63, line 9, if I ever write any thing in Latine.] We have no in- 
formation that Nash carried this design into execution. If he ever did 
give the characters and habits of Tarlton, AUeyn, KneU, Bentley, or any 
other famous performers of his time, it has not reached ours ; but, probably, 
like T. Hey wood's promised "Lives of the Poets," it has utterly pe- 

Page 65> line 6, our lord wiU cun thee little thank for it.] This idiomatic 
expression occurs in Shakespeare's " AU's Well that Ends Well," act iv. 
sc. 3, and in *' Timon of Athens," act iv. sc. 3, &c. To cun, or, properly, 
to con, is to know; and the French have an equivalent expression in 
their savoir gre. 


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106 NOTES. 

Page 67> line 9, Penie, beleeue me thou sfary vest me Terie neere.] Why 
the Devil, alias the Knight of the Post, here and afterwards addresses Nash 
by the name of " Persia," we cannot decisively say ; probably it was only 
tile mode in which the fiend thought fit to pronounce '* Pierce;" To 
'* shrive" a person was to confess them. 

Page 69, line 5, The beare on a time, &c.] This elaborate apologue was 
of course much more intelligible and poiuted at the date when it was pub- 
lished than at present. It had, no doubt, an individual and personal ap- 
plication. As Nash says in his letter to Jeffes, p. xv., he was not a man to 
pen an apologue in vain. It may be suspected, perhaps, that the bear was 
the Earl of Leicester. 

Page 69, line 30, the nimble citizens of the wood.] Thomas Lodge, in 
bis " Rosalynde," 1590, calls deer "The citizens of the wood,'* and 
Shakespeare, in " As You Like [t," founded upon Lodge's '' Rosalynde,*' 
terms them " native burghers of this desert city " (actlL sc 1). 

Page 76, line 27, covered the land of Egipt with this monstrous en- 
crease.] There is great confusion in the printing of this long sentence in 
the original edition, where a full stop is wrongly placed after the words 
*' Nature of itselfe can effect." The second edition reprints the passage 
exactly as it stands in the first. 

Page 78, line 11, The second kind of divels.] This paragraph Malone 
quotes in illustration of the following passage in *' Macbeth," act i. sc. 5. 

'^ Come, come, you spirits 
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here ; 
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full 
Of direst cruelty," &c. 

Malone observes that Shakespeare, very possibly, in this instance may have 
resorted to Nash's very popular pamphlet of " Pierce Penniless his Suppli- 
cation to the Devil." 

Page 82, line 15, 1 raught his head from his body.] i. e. I reft his head 
from his body. So in Shakespeare's " Henry VI.," part ii. act ii. sc. 3. 

'* two pulls at once — 

His lady banish'd, and a limb lopp'd off; 
This staff of honour raught" 

Page 86, line 18, Tuque juvande viam.] We print thb line, and most 
other quotations, as in the original edition, but of course it is given erro- 
neously. In the second edition, the Tuque invade viam of Virgil is even more 
corruptly printed. Tuque ju vande viam, &c. As Nash's quotations are by 
no means uncommon, the reader will be easily able to correct them boih 
here and elsewhere. 


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NOTES. 107 

Page 879 lii^e ^9 certain letters to diveni orators and poets.] To these 
letters Nash refers in his " private epistle " to the printer of the second 
edition of " Pierce Penniless/' to which edition, as he informs us> he had 
intended to append them. 

Page 87^ line 18, a scurvie peddling poet to plucke a man by the sleeve 
at every third step in Paules Churchyard.] It is to be borne in mind, that 
St. Paul's Church-yard was at this date the great mart for new publica- 
tions. It subsequently changed its locality a httle, for Paternoster Row, 
bat now it is dispersed over nearly all parts of the town. 

Page 88, line 6, for silver game in Finsburie Fields.] Finsbury Fields 
were at this period the usual resort of the citizens of Tiondon and others to 
practice shooting with the bow. See Thoms's edition uf Stow's " Survey 
of London/' p. 159, &c. 

Page 89, liue 14, to be more considerate in their dedications.] This 
passage proves (and many others could be produced to the same effect) that 
authors of old obtained money by dedicating their works to the rich and 
powerful The truth of what follows was no doubt often established. 

Page 90, line 10, We want an Aretine here among us.] Nash was 
termed, by some of his contemporaries and followers, ''our English 

Page 90, line 25, the true Diana.] Of course Queen Elizabeth, to whom 
Nash has before referred (p. 64) under the same name. 

Page 91, line 25, none but thou, most courteous Amyntas, bee the se- 
cond musical argument of the Knight of the Red-crosse.] It is not easy to 
decide whom Nash here and before means by ''Amyntas." Watson had 
given that name to Sir F. Walsingham, but he had died in 1590; and 
Nash's " Amyntas " was obviously living, and pointed out as a fit person 
to be Spenser's second hero. It is to be observed, that in the second edition 
of " Pierce Penniless " Amintas is called the " mystical," and not the 
" musical argument," &c., as in the first edition. Malone (Shakespeare by 
Boswell, ii. 267) contends that Nash by Amyntas meant Ferdinando Earl of 
Derby. Possibly the Earl of Southampton, to whom Nash dedicates seve- 
ral tracts, was the nobleman intended. 

Page 91, line 30, which insueth the conclusion of thy famous Fairie 
Queene.] This passage of course refers to the sonnets to various nobility, 
printed at the end of the first three books of the '< Fairy Queen," 4to. 1590. 
There is a peculiarity in one copy of this volume, now before us, which 
deserves notice, because it may show that the addition of some of the son- 
nets was an afterthought. The last page of the main poem is 589. On 591 
begins the author's letter to Raleigh : then follow commendatory poems, 
beginning on p. 596 and ending on p. 600. So far, we apprehend, is com- 


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108 NOTES. 

mon to all copies of the edition in 1590. Pages 601, 602^ 603, and €04, 
are occupied by soouets to Sir Christ. Hatton, the Earl of Essex, the Earl 
of Oxford, the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Ormond, Lord Ch. 
Howard, Lord Grey of Wilton, and Sir W. Raleigh. Then, we have eight 
unnumbered pages^ containing repetitions, in the following order, of the 
sonnets to Hatton, Oxford, Northumberland, Essex, Ormond, Howard, and 
Grey of Wilton, but including likewise sonnets to Ilord Burghley, the Earl 
of Cumberland, Lord Hunsdon, Lord Buckhurst^ Sir F. Walsinghaoi, Sir 
John Norris, and the Countess of Pembroke. These unnumbered pages 
are followed by a leaf numbered 605 and 606, with sonnets to Lady Carew 
and to the ladies of the court on p. 605, and " Faults escaped in the 
Print " on p. 606. We have been thus particular, in order that Individ uaU 
possessing copies of " The Faery Queene," 1590, may be able to ascertain 
whether they agree with that we have described, because the circumstances 
we have pointed out may not, in fact, be so peculiar as we imagine. 

Page 92, line 17, That when their play is doone doe fall to ryme.] This 
simile does not seem very appropriate, because the rhimes with which the 
quaint comedians of Nash's time entertained audiences after the play was 
over, were what were called y^«, or merely ridiculous compositions intended 
to create laughter, and generally performed by the clown of the company 
with the aid of a pipe and tabor. See ** Hist, of Engl. Dram. Poetry and 
the Stage," p. 376, 378, for some account of these exhibitions. Tarlton, 
so highly applauded by Nash in his '* Pierce Penniless," was a most cele- 
brated performer of jigs, and some of those he delivered at the Theatre are 
still extant in MS. In the Bridgewater Catalogue, p. 300, is a woodcut 
of Tarlton, playing upon his pipe and tabor. 





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It would be singular that a man of so much, and of 
such peculiar, learning as the late Mr. Douce, in his 
^* Dissertation upon Clowns and Fools," should not even 
refer to the ensuing tract, did we not know that only a 
single copy of it (as far as has been ascertained by the 
most diligent inquiries during the last thirty or forty 
years) exists in any public or private collection. Were 
it, therefore, of less value than it really possesses, as a 
curious picture of manners, towards the end of the reign 
of Elizabeth, and in the beginning of that of James I., 
we should be disposed to reprint it, in order to place it 
beyond the possibility of destruction. The original is 
preserved in the Bodleian Library, the statutes of 
which, we believe, forbid fire within the precincts of 
the edifice ; and the unceasing and almost afiectionate 
care of the Rev. Dr. Bandinel and his curators inspires 
every confidence as to the security of the matchless stores 
in their custody : still we are unwilling that any volume 
of this description, of which no other exemplar is known, 
should be exposed to the slightest risk of loss, however 
remote or improbable. We mention this as an addi- 


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tional inducement with as for the repuhlication of a relic 
of much interest and merit, not only unique in itself, 
hut unprecedented in its kind. The tract is the only one 
in our language that treats distinctly of such a subject, 
and of such persons, as the domestic fools and jesters of 
a period when they began to receiye less encouragement 
than they had experienced in times of greater ignorance 
and barbarism. 

r^ The entertainment of this class of persons in private 
families seems to have originated mainly in two causes : 
one of these was, that the care and custody of idiots 
was of old assigned to individuals as a source of emolu- 
ment, the latter having the control and management of 
the estates of the former : auother cause was, perhaps, 
the natural weakness of our nature, which, when any 
species of learning was a rare acquisition, and when in- 
tellectual abilities were less prized and cultivated, sought 
to place itself in contrast with those who would show 
off to advantage even the smallest acquirements, and 
the most moderate talents. This consideration will 
account for the ancient familiarity of great men, even 
of kings and princes, with their fools or jesters, and for 
the introduction of them at their tables, on the most 
solemn, as well as on the most festiv.e occasions. It has 
been ascertained, and requires no proof here, that such 
vras the case of old, not merely in England, but in most 
other countries of Europe. V 

It is not our intention at present to pursue this in- 
quiry farther, but merely to observe that the fools, to 
whose propensities and adventures the following pages 
chiefly relate, belonged to the class usually entertained 

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in the houses of the nobility and gentry. There can be 
no doubt that the dramatic clowns and fools, such as 
they are represented in the plays of Shakespeare and 
his contemporaries, originated in this practice ; although 
they came down to the poets of the end of the sixteenth 
and of the beginning of the seventeenth century, through 
the medium of the personage who is known as the Vice 
of the old Moralities: he was employed in them, 
sometimes by his affected stolidity, and at others by his 
low cunning, to amuse the spectators, and to relieve 
their minds from the weight of the more serious per* 
tions of the performance. In this point of view, all that 
relates to the history of the domestic fool cannot fail to 
be interesting to the student of our early dramatic 
literature. " It may be objected (says Heywood, in his 
* General History of Women,' 1624) why, amongst sad 
and grave histories, I have here and there inserted 
fabulous tales and jests, savouring of lightness. — I 
answer, I have therein imitated our historical and 
comical poets that write to the stage ; who, lest the 
auditory should be duUed with serious courses, which 
are merely weighty and material, in every act present 
some zany, with his mimic action, to breed in the less 
capable mirth and laughter : for they that write to all 
must strive to please all." 

Many of the anecdotes or incidents in the following 
pages will strike all readers as merely puerile and ab- 
surd; and they will be disposed to wonder how our 
ancestors could find entertainment in displays of folly 
and weakness, by which they themselves were not un- 
frequently sufierers. We must throw our imaginations 


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back two or three centuries, into the state^of society 
then prevailing in this country, or we shall be dis- 
posed to think, that those who laughed at and re- 
lished such scenes were little less far gone in fatuity 
than the principal agent in them. To the readers of 
the day when the work was written it must have been 
extremely welcome ; and the author, no doubt truly, 
professes to have been an eye-witness of some of the 
circumstances he narrates. Thus, it seems extremely 
probable that he himself saw the remarkable scenes he 
describes at Edinburgh, in which King James and his 
fool were concerned ; and, as he was a member of the 
company to which Shakespeare belonged, we may spe- 
culate that he visited the Scottish metropolis in his 
professional capacity, and associated with our great 
dramatist. We have no direct evidence to establish 
that Shakespeare was ever beyond the Tweed, but it is 
! certain that some members of the company of actors to 
I which he belonged were at one time as far north as 
; Aberdeen; and that Laurence Fletcher, whose name 
stands first in the patent or licence, granted by James I. 
early in 1605, was complimented at Aberdeen by the 
freedom of the city. 

It is enough to make us take a strong interest about 
Robert Armin, to know that he was one of the original 
performers in Shakespeare's plays, and that his name is in- 
serted in the list of actors which follows the dedication by 
Heminge and Condell of the folio of 1 62 S. Of the nature 
of the characters he sustained we have no precise informa- 
tion ; but, in the preliminary matter to one of his produc- 
tions (" The Italian TaUor and his Boy," 4to., 1609), he 

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quotes a part of the language of Dogberry, telling his pa- 
tron and patroness, Lord and Lady Haddington, that he 
had been ^^ writ down an ass in his time," as if quoting 
from one of his known parts. However, it seems certain 
that Kenap and Cowley were the original Dogberry and 
Verges of " Much Ado about Nothing," for both in the 
4to and in the folio their names, instead of the names of 
the characters, are inserted at the head of the scenes in 
which the constable and his companion appear.^ 

• We may take this opportunity of correcting Mr. Knight on a 
point regarding which he has fallen into an error both in his " Pic- 
torial" and in his " Library Shakspere/' from not haying consulted 
the earlier editions of the plays. *' There is/' he obsenres, " a remark- 
able peculiarity in the text of the folio, which indicates very clearly 
that it was printed from a playhoose copy * * * In the third act, 
when the two inimitable guardians of the night first descend upon the 
solid earth in Messina, to move mortals for ever after with uneztin- 
guishable laughter, they speak to us in their well-known names of Dog- 
berry and Verges ; but in the fourth we find the names of mere human 
actors prefixed to what they say : Dogberry becomes Kempe, and 
Verges Cowley. Here, then, we have a piece of the prompter's 
book before us." Mr. Knight's inference fails him, because what he 
notices as " a remarkable peculiarity" in the folio of 1623, 
derived from " the prompter's book," is common both to the folio 
of 1623 and to the 4to of 1600. The folio of 1623 was, in fact, 
printed precisely from the 4to of 1600, with the names of Kemp and 
Cowley instead of those of Dogberry and Verges. Mr. Knight would, 
of course, not have committed this mistake had he i:esorted to a copy 
of the 4to 1600. He adds, that Heminge and Condell permitted the 
names of Kemp and Cowley to remain as they found them in the 
prompter's book '' as a historical tribute to the memory of their fel- 
lows." If there were any tribute to Kemp and Cowley, it was paid by 
Valentine Simmes, the printer of the 4to 1600, who perpetuated a 
blunder he found in the manuscript from which " Much Ado about 
Nothing" was composed by the men in his employ. 


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We have reason to know that, not long after the pub- 
lication of " Much Ado about Nothing," Kemp left the 
company of the king's players, and joined those of Prince 
Henry (a point to which we shall presently more dis- 
tinctly advert) ; and possibly Armin succeeded to some 
of the comic parts, which Kemp had previously repre- 
sented. Moreover, it appears that Armin was at first 
instructed in the quality of a player by the celebrated 
Richard Tarlton, who was most famous as, what we now 
call, a low comedian, though at least one authority may 
be quoted to shew that he was also a distinguished tragic 
performer.^ In an epigram inserted by John Davies of 
Hereford in his " Scourge of Folly," Armin is termed 
" honest gameson Armin ;" and, on the whole, we may 

^ We allude to Stradliag's Epigram^ published in his " Epigram- 
matum libri Quatuor/' Londini, 1607. 12mo. 

Rich. Tarltono, Comcedorum Principi. 

" Cujus, viator, sit sepulchrum hoc scire vis, 

Inscriptionem non habens ? 
Asta, gradumque siste paulisper tuum ; 

Incognitum nomen scies. 
Princeps Comcedorum tulit quos Anglise 

Tellus, in hoc busto cubat. 
Quo mortuo, spretse silent comedioe, 

Tragediseque turbidse. 
Scenoe decus desiderant mutae suum, 

Risusque abest Sardonius. 
Hie Roscius Britannicus sepultus est. 

Quo notior nemo fuit. 
Abi, viator : Sin te adhuc nomen latet, 

Edicet hoc quivis puer." 

This epigram is quoted at length in *' The Archaeologist," No. I. 
p. 27, and, we thinks elsewhere. 


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conclude that the line of characters he usually filled was 
of a humorous and ludicrous description. 

We have mentioned that he was a pupil of Tarlton. 
This fact we have upon {he~^dence of the volume of 
Jests published in the name of that comic performer, of 
which the earliest known edition bears date in 1611 : it 
was again printed in 1 638 — at least, a copy with that date 
is among Malone's books at Oxford ; but how often it 
had been reprinted in the interval between 1611 and 1 638 
it is impossible to decide. Neither could the edition of 
1611 have been by any means the first ; for Tarlton died 
in 1588, and three-and-twenty years could not have been 
allowed to elapse before such a collection of stories, 
relating to so popular an actor, was put to press. At 
what date Armin received instructions from Tarlton 
we have no information ; but Armin was then an 
apprentice, and therefore certainly quite young. The i 
story is this : — that Armin, being apprenticed to a gold- 
smith, was sent to an inn in Gracechurch Street to re- 
ceive payment for a bill: there he met with Tarlton, who 
took a fancy to him, induced him to quit his trade, and 
to take to the stage as a means of obtaining a livelihood. 
In order to qualify Armin for the profession, Tarlton 
took him for some time under his own tuition ; — that is 
to say, in all probability, he engaged Armin S3 his boy — 
for nearly all the principal actors of that day and after- 
wards had boys under them, whom they taught to play, 
and who, when properly qualified, and until their beards 
grew, usually sustained female characters. 

We must suppose Armin to have been not less than 
fourteen or fifteen years old, when he became acquainted- 


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with Tarlton ; and, as he appeared in print as early as 
I59O9 we can scarcely imagine that he took to the stage 
later than about 1580. It is singular to see the name of 
an actor in connection with a work entitled, ^^ A brief Re- 
solution of the right Religion :" such, howeyer, is the 
fact ; but all that Annin did was to write a preliminary 
prose address in commendation of the work, and, possi- 
bly, the author was induced to solicit his name in con- 
sequence of its popularity.*^ 

It is generally believed that Tarlton principally exhi- 
bited at the Curtain in Shoreditch ; but that theatre was 
not built until about 1575, and he was certainly an ap- 
plauded actor before that date. He was the author of 
a ballad printed in 1570, and must have put his name 
to it, not from any vanity of authorship on account of 
the merit of the production itself, but because it was 
thought that it would give it a considerable sale : it was 
upon the floods in Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire, in the 
year we have mentioned, and it may be found printed 
from the original broadside in the first publication issued 
by the Percy Society.* After the death of Tarlton, 
Armin perhaps took some of his master's parts, and lent 
his name in a manner somewhat similar. 

c The title-page runs thus : " A Briefe resolution of the right 
Religion, touching the controversies that are now in England. 
Written by C. S. London. Printed by Roger Ward for John Proc- 
tor, &c. 1590. 8vo.'' Armin's contribution to this work does 
not contain a syllable about himself. 

^ It is called " A very lamentable and wofull Disconrs of the 
fierce Fluds, which lately flowed in Bedford shire, in Lincoln shire, 
and in many other places, with the great losses of sheep and other 
cattel, the 5 of October, 1570." 


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About this date, or a little afterwards, Armin must 
have been a writer of some celebrity, for Thomas Nash, 
in his " Strange News," 1592, mentions him in com- 
pany with Thomas Deloney, Philip Stubbs, &c., as one 
of the progeny of " their father Elderton," the notorious 
ballad-maker. Nash associated Stubbs with them for 
the purpose of derogating from his reputation as the 
author of " The Anatomy of Abuses," which, haying 
been first published in 1583, went through several edi- 
tions before 1592. Nothing by Armin, or attributed to 
him, of this date has survived. All evidence tends to shew 
that by far the greater part of the ephemeral literature 
of that period has perished. It was not usually in a 
form calculated for preservation; and, even where it 
assumed a more respectable and permanent shape, as in 
the tract hereafter reprinted, it was so handed about 
from one reader to another, and so carelessly and unce- 
remoniously treated by all readers, that it is almost a 
wonder that a single copy has descended to us. Such 
prolific penmen as Elderton, Deloney, Johnson, and 
others, would smile if they could see the eagerness with 
which their productions are now purchased, and the 
chariness with which they are treasured in the portfolios 
of our curious collectors, who have often given more 
pounds for a copy of a ballad, than the writer of it re- 
ceived pence for composing it. 

We hear nothing more of Armin, either as author or 
actor, until we find his name among the company licensed 
by James I. when he came to the throne, and thereafter 
called " the King's Majesty's Players." If any thing 
be to be inferred from the fact, it may be noticed that 


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his name stands last bnt one in the list of nine players, 
including Lawrence Fletcher and Shakespeare, who are 
at the head of the company.^ 

Nevertheless, a circumstance occurred in the next 
year which may lead us to believe that Armin was then 
in considerable favour with the public. At this date he 
must have been upon the stage more than twenty years ; 
but, as before remarked, the retirement of Kemp from 
the company might again give Armin a temporary pro- 
minence as the successor to such parts as Dogberry, 
Peter, Launcelot, or Touchstone. Had Kemp not re- 
tired previous to the 17th of May, 1603, it is strange, 
considering his eminence in the profession, that his name 
should not have been mentioned in the patent ; but we 
have positive testimony in Henslowe's Diary that he had 
withdrawn, and had enlisted himself in the rival asso- 
ciation led by Edward Alleyn — the Players of Prince 
Henry. There are numerous entries relating to Kemp, 
and to dresses furnished to him for his different charac- 
ters, and to money advanced to him in the spring, sum- 
mer, and autumn of 160S; the earliatt bears date on 
the 10th March of that year, when Henslowe lent Wil- 
liam Kemp twenty shillings ; another comparatively small 
sum was advanced to him on the S2nd August, 1602, 
ajid a third entry of a loan is found under the date of 
the 3rd of September following. This fact is a novelty 
in the life of this performer, and the Rev. Mr. Dyce was 
not acquainted with it, when he drew up the excellent 
memoir which precedes the reprint, under the sanction 
of the Camden Society, of " Kemp's Nine Days' Won- 
der," 4to 1600. Neither is it of small importance with 


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reference to some-of Shakespeare's dramas; for, if Kemp 
ceased to belong to the King's Players, he could not 
have been the performer of parts assigned to him in 
pieces which were produced after he quitted the com- 
pany. We may take this opportunity of mentioning, as 
an incidental circumstance, that Kemp was still alive, 
and still acting, in 1605. We afterwards hear no more 
of him, and possibly he died of the plague, which pre- 
vailed to a fearful extent in that year. 

Our reason for thinking that Armin was a popular 
actor in 1604 is, that, in that year, he wrote an intro- 
ductory epistle to a small tract penned by Gilbert Dug- 
dale (whom Armin terms " his kinsman," and who was 
the author of a pageant on the coronation of James I.), 
under the following title : ^^ A true Discourse of the 
Practises of Elizabeth Caldwell, Ma. Jefirey Bownd, 
Isabell Hall widdow, and George Femeby, on the parson 
of Ma. Thomas Caldwell, in the County of Chester, to 
haue murdered and poysoned him with divers others, 
&c. At London, printed by James Roberts for John 
Busbie, &c. 16A4." 4to. Armin's epistle comes im- 
mediately after the title-page, and as it relates mainly 
to himself, and as the tract in which it is found is of rare 
occurrence, we subjoin it. 

" To the right honourable and his singular good Lady, the Lady 
Mary Chandoia, 

" R. A. wisheth health and everlasting happinesse. 
*^ My honourable and very good Lady* considering my duty to 
your kind Ladyship, and remembring the vertues of your prepared 
minde, I could doe noe lesse but dedicate this strange worke to your 
view, being both matter of moment and truth. And to the whole 
world it may seem strange that a gentlewoman so well brought vp 


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in God's feare, so well married, so vertuous evei^ so suddenly wrought 
to this act of murder ; that when your Ladiship doth read as well 
the Letter as the Booke of her owne indighting, you will the more 
wonder that her vertnes coulde so aptly tast the follies of vice and 
villanie. But so it was ; and« for the hetter proofe that it was so, 
I haue placed my kinsman's name to \t, who was present at all her 
troubles, at her comming to prison, her heeing in prison, and her 
going out of prison to execution. That, those Gentlemen to whom he 
dedicates his worke witnessed, may also he pertakers in that kind, 
for the proofe thereof, that your Ladiship and the world, so satisfied, 
may admire the deede, and hold it as strange as it is true. 

<• We have many giddie-pated poets, that coulde have published 
the report with more eloquence ; but truth, in plaine attire, is the 
easier knowne : let fizion maske in Kendall greene. It is my qualitie 
to add to the truth, truth, and not leasings to lyes. 

" Your good honor knowes Pinch* s poor heart, who, in all my ser- 
vices to your late deceased kind lord, neuer sauoured of flatterie or 
fixion : and, therefore, am now the bolder to present to your vertues 
the view of this late truth, desiring you to so think of it that yon 
may be an honourable mourner at these obsequies, and you shall no 
more doe than manie more haue doone. So with my tendered 
dutie, my true ensuing storie, and my euer wishing well, I do hum- 
bly commit your Ladiship to the prison of heauen, wherein is perfect 

'* Your Ladiships euer 

" In duty and semice, 

" RoBXRT Armin." 

How Annin acquired the nickname of Pink, and in 
what capacity he had been in the service of the husband 
of the lady he addresses, we are left to conjecture : it 
is very likely that Lord Chandos, like many other noble- 
men, had at one time a company of theatrical re- 
tainers in his pay and under his patronage, and that 
Armin had been one of them. 

His next work, at least the next regarding which we 


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have any information, was that now presented to the 
members of the Shakespeare Society. On the personal 
matter it contains, it is, therefore, unnecessary to dwell. 
We may observe that it is not mentioned in "The 
Bibliographer's Manual," by Lowndes, and that the only 
catalogue of books in which we have seen it included 
is that of Malone at Oxford, where, as already stated, 
the sole remaining copy is deposited. From it our 
transcript has been made. The tract was evidently 
hastily and carelessly printed for a bookseller who puh- 
lished many humorous works, and the errors of the 
press, especially in the later sheets, are numerous, and 
in some places not easy of correction. 

We apprehend that Armin was, at this date, strug- 
gling with poverty, and that he wrote " The Nest" of 
Ninnies" mainly to supply his necessities. Such was 
certainly the case with his next production, which came 
out in the following year, 1609. It was called "The 
Italian Taylor and his Boy," and is a translation, in 
verse, of novel 5, night viii. of the Notti Piacevoli of 
Straparola. Armin acknowledges it to be from the 
Italian, though he does not add the name of his author. 
On the title-page he still states himself to be " Servant 
to the king's most excellent Majesty ;" and n# doubt he 
yet belonged to the company, though an actor of, per- 
haps, thirty years' standing. In the preliminary matter he 
more than once confesses his poverty, and that he wrote 
the tract in hopes of raising money : we may therefore 
presume that he had, at this date, but a very small, or 
perhaps no share as proprietor in the Globe and Black- 
friars theatres, for which Shakespeare was writing in 



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the pleuitude of his popularity, and which must then 
have been profitable undertakings. 

In his address Ad lectorem hie et uhique, before 
" The Italian Taylor and his Boy," Amain speaks of his 
" Nest of Ninnies," which had been printed in the year 
preceding ; and the dedication to Lord and Lady Had- 
dington contains the following interesting mention of a 
poet of considerable celebrity, who had been the early 
friend of Spenser, to whom Chapman dedicated his 
" Shadow of Night," in 1594, who was living in retire- 
ment in 1609, and who was in such distress, not many 
years afterwards, that he was glad to accept from 
Edward AUeyn, the founder of Dulwieh College, very 
trifling charitable donations. 

" There is (says Armin to Lady Haddington) under the^glister of 
your starre a poetical light, which shines not in the world'^aa) it is 
wisht, but yet the worth of its lustre is known : he hath reroayned in 
Sussex many yeares ; and I beseech God and your noble Father (the 
Earle) he may live and die beloved so still. It is (if I speake darkely) 
that pen-pleading poet (graue] for yeares and knowledge) Maister 
Mathew Roiden : I doe stand to his censure, to second yours both ; 
and I doubt not but he will plead for my weaknes in!. this worke, 
knowing that Non cuivis homini contingit adire Cormthum,** 

The Earl of Fitzwalter, the father of Lady Haddington, 
did not die until 1629 ; but, some years before that 
event, Matthew Roiden, or Roydon, must hare been re- 
duced to extreme want : he was relieved by AUeyn in 
1618 by the gift of eightpence, and in 1622 he made 
another appeal to his charity, "and "obtained sixpence. 
(See "Memoirs of Alleyn," p. 165.) 

In the same year that " The Italian Taylor and his 
Boy" came out, Armin printed a dramatic piece, with 


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the title of " The History of theTTwo Maids of More 
Clacke, with the Life and simple manners of John in 
the Hospital." It purports to have been acted by the 
Children of the King's Revels, although Armin, as the 
title-page asserts, was " Servant to the King's most 
excellent Majesty." Whether he was alive in 1 61 5 does 
not appear, but in that year was published another play 
called " The Valiant Welchman," the plot of which the 
Editor of the Biographia Dramatica gravely informs us 
was taken from Milton's History of England, which was, 
of course, not published until many years afterwards. 
The initials " R. A. Gent" only are upon the title-page 
of " The Valiant Welshman," and it may be doubted 
whether Armin had any concern in the authorship of it. 
It was reprinted in 1663. 

The following tract will be found to contain the names 
of several fools and jesters not elsewhere commemorated. 
The most celebrated in the list is William Somer, Som- 
mers, or Summers, the favourite of Henry VIII., who 
figures in, at least, two plays of the time of Shakespeare 
— ^Thomas Nash's " Summers Last Will and Testament," 
acted in 1598, and printed in 1600 ; and Samuel Row- 
ley's " When you see me you know me," founded upon 
incidents in the life and reign of Henry VIII., acted 
about 1604, and printed in 1605. He was a jester of 
a different character to the others, inasmuch as he was 
an artificial fool — a witty person, afiecting simplicity 
for the sake of afibrding amusement. Jesters of this 
class were often entertained in families where mere 
idiots would not have been tolerated; but they had 
their origin in the license allowed to the tongues of 


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" innocents," as they were sometimes, for the sake of 
distinction, called. William Sommers was a historical 
personage, and is so treated by Samuel Rowley in his 
play, which is a singular picture of manners, and of the 
mode in which, just after the death of Elizabeth, her 
father was exhibited at the public theatres. In this 
view, " When you see me you know me" may be said 
to have a direct relation to the " Henry the Eighth " of 
our great dramatist, and may well deserve to be here- 
after reprinted by the Shakespeare Society. 

We have to thank Mr. Thoms for some very useful 
notes, which are distinguished from the rest by his 

J. P. C. 


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Simply of themselves without 

SttUtorum plena sunt omnia. 


Printed by T. E. for lohn Deane. 1608. 

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To the most true and rightly compleat in all good gifts and 
graces^ the generous gentlemen of Oxenford, Cambridge, and 
the Innes of Court. Bo. Armin greeting. 

You first borne brothers of the highest skies. 
Twins of best Joue by blest Memoria, 
From whom our glories and our linings rise ; 
Brothers and sonnes to him that brings the day 
(Phoebus) whom none can see but by your eyes ; 
You only, and you euer I shall pray. 
And praysing euer tiiat your sunnie shine 
May beautifie our GLOBE in euery line. 

But what higher straine am I in, when your selued haue set 
my tongue lower? 

Most liberall and well affected, I am brazed by your fauours, 
made bould in your ostended curtesies, I haue seene you both 
wayes, as the hare that squints on either side — ^marry to looke 
fore-right I cannot, because judgement out-lookes mee. But 
as the philosopher squened at his curst wife in some feare, 
because of quiet, so I, fearefull, presume not to look into the 
milstone, least I grauell my eye sight. I haue seene the stars 
at midnight in your societies, and might have commenst, like 
an a^ as I was ; but I lackt liberty in that, yet I was admitted 
in Oxford to be of Christs Church, while they of Al-soules 
gaue ayme : such as knew me remember my measures. I 
promised them to prone mad ; and I thinke I am so, else I 
would not meddle with folly so deepely, but simiUs similem, 



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&c. If I doe offend^ as I make no question, my pardon is 
signed, I doubt not — marry there is an execution yet behinde, 
and I long till I passe my plundge, that is censure. They say 
he goes in coUours, as one strangely a£Eected, and I goe in 
motly, making my own cloakebag ready. If hee proue porter, 
and beare with me, I shall rest behoulding ; if not, I am his 
martir, and suffer extreamly. I haue, gentlemen, in this booke 
gone through Ireland ; if I doe sticke in the bogs, help me 
out — not with your good sken e head me ; that's the way to 
spoyle alL but with your goad pricke me on the true tract. 
And you of our Innes of Court, nimble braind brands that 
bume without smoking, I challenge of you neighbourly neere- 

. nesse, and therefore dare say sumus in toto. If you should 
flie out like rancke riders, or rebell like the Irish, twere much, 
because my presumption challenges better being in you. But 
since all is one, and one all that's car'd for, singlenesse hath 
such regard, I make a question, which if you easily answere I 
am satisfEed, otherwise buryed quicke : how euer, my loue 
looses not his labour — an universitie fire in the winter, and a 
temple pot may warme good licour, in which you may drink 
to me, and ile pledge you. I may line to make you amends, if 
not no more but this — such a one died in your debt, and thats 

* a countertenor many a one sings. Yale, as far vide and vici 
let Caesar at his next arriue, so salute you. 

Yours euer affected, 

Ro. Armin. 

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. The Worlds wanton 3ick^ as one surfeiting on«6mne (in 
morning pleasures, noone banquets, after riots, night moris- 
coes, midnights modicoms, and abundance uf trash trickt up 
to all turbulent reuellings) is now leaning on her elbow, de- ' 
uising what doctour may deliuer her, what phisicke may free 
her, and what antidotes may antissipate so dangerous a do- 
lemma : shee now begins to grow bucksome as a lightning 
before death ; and, gad, she will — riches, her chamberlaine, 
could not keepe her in 5 beauty, her bed-fellow, was bold to 
perswade her ;^ and sleepy securitie, mother of all mischiefe — 
tut, her prayers was but meere prattle : out she would, tucks 
up her trinkets, like a Dutch tannikin sliding to market on the 
ise, and away she flings — and whither thinck you?— 

Not to the Law, that was too loud — 
Not to the Church, that was too proud. 
Not to the Court, that was too stately — 
Nor to- the Cittie, she was there lately. 
Nor to the Campe, that was to keene — 
No, nor to the Country, where seldom seene — 

shee daines her a friendly eye ; but, of all, into a philosophers 
cell, who, because he was alwayes poking at Fortune with his ; 
forefinger, the wise wittely namde hipo Sotto, as one besotted 
— a grumbling sir ; one that was wise enough, and fond enough, 
and solde all for a glasse prospective, because he would wisely 
see into all men but himselfe, a fault generall in most ; but 


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such was his, who thus busied, was tooke napping by the 
weale publike, who smiles upon him with a wapper eye, a 
iealous countenance, and bids him all haile ! Mistresse (sayes 
Sotto) I will not say welcome, because you come ill to him 
that would bee alone ; but^ smce you are come, looke for such 
entertainement as my folly fits you mth, that is, sharp sauce 
with bitter dyet ; no swetnes at al, for that were to mingle your 
pils with sugar : no, I am all one, winter in the head, and 
.' frost in the foot ; no sununer in me but my smiles, and that 
^^as soone gone as smiles. '- The bauble I play^witbifiJUfia? es- 
tates, which I so tumble from hand to hand, that, weary with 
it, I see (gluttingly and grieuedly, yet mingled with smiles 
too) in my glasse prospectiue what shall become of it* The 
World, curling her locks with her fingers^.and imonescratch- 
ing her braine with her itching pin, as one little regarding, 
answeres. What then ? Marry, sayes Hodge, ile show thee. 
See, World, in whose bosome euer hath abundance beene 
poured, what thy imps of impiety bee ; for as they (I) all for 
the most part, as these which I will present to thee in my 
glasse prospectiue : niark them well, and see what thou breed- 
est in thy wantonnesse, sixe children like thee, not the &ther 
that begat them-^Where were they nursed ? in folly : fed with 
the flottin milk^' 0f nicetie and wantonnesse, curdled in thy 
wombe of water and bloud, vnseasoned, because thy mother 
bearing tempdt was euer vntrue, farre from the rellish of right 
breede ; and-it is hard that the taste of one apple should dis- 
taste the whple lumpe of this defused chaios. But marke me 
and my glasse : see into some (and in them thy selfe) whom I 
haue discride, or describde, these sisie parts of folly in lliee ; 
thou shalt see them as deare as day, how mistic thy clouds be, 
and what rancknesse raines from them. 

The World, quearie stomackt, as one fed with tiie earth's 
nectar and delicates, with the remembrance of her own appe-' 
tite, squinies at this, and lookes as one scorning ; yet beholding 
what will follow, at length espies a taU black ejnan. jearing 


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like himselfe^ a ibole in motiey, muekinder hunge, ener and 
anon wipes his nose ; at whose ^rdle httogde a smaU hlaek jack 
of a quart, his ysual draft ; his finger on his tongue, as if he 
Uatnde Nature that cut not ihe strings of it in more laarge 
manner, but hindred by defect, hee stiU did gesse at wisedome, 
though seldome attaining it. WefU, he was gouty, bigge, poste 
legged, and of yeeres something iBiany> as in the right toqtidl 
followeth :— 

This foole was tall, his &ice small. 

His beard was big and blacke ; 

His necke was short, indind to sport. 

Was this our dapper Jack. 

Of nature curst, yet nol; the worst. 

Was nastie, giuen to sweare ; 

Toylesome euer, his^ndeauour 

Was delight in beare. 

Groutie, great, of conceit 

Apt, and full of fisiuor ; 

Curst, yet kinde, and inclinde 

To spare the wise mans labour. 

Enowne to many, loude of any, 

Cause his trust was truth ; 

Scene in toyes, apt to joyes. 

To please with tricks of youth ; 

Writh'd i'th knees, yet who sees 

Faults that hidden be ? 

Calfe great, in whose conceit 

Lay much game and glee. 

Bigge i'th small, ancle all. 

Footed broad and bug ; 

In motly cotes, goes Jacke Gates, 

Of whom I sing this song. 

The Woild, ready to disgoige at so homely a present, askt 
if it were possible such breathde hers to conmiaunde? Oh, 


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saiUi our philoeophicall Hodge, beare his iests, and what an 
vDknownehabiteliuesinhim^thenretumeiudgeinent. Marke 
our application. 

Jack Oates, sitting at cardes all alone, was dealing to him- 
selfe at vide ruffe (for that was the game he ioyedin) and as 
he spide a knaue — ^Ah, knaue, art there? quoth he. When he 
spide a king^— King, by your leaue, quoth he. If hee spied a 
queene — Queene Richard art come? quoth he; and would 
kneele downe, and bid Ghxl blesse her majestie (meaning, in- 
deede, the then queene, whom he heard Sir William HoUis, 
bis maister, so much to pray for). But heere is the jest : Jack, 
as I say, being at cardes all alone, spying a knaue, and saying. 
Ah, knaue, art there ? a simple seruingroan being in the hall, 
waighting his maisters comming, walking by, and hearing him 
say so, thought he had called him knaue, tooke the matter in 
dudgeen, and miscalled the foole. Another seruingman, more 
foolish then both, took Jack's part, so that in short time they 
two fell together by the eares ; who, being parted. Jack Oates 
giues them each one a hand, and so takes them into the buttry 
to drinke. The knight comes in : seeing the hall not yet quiet, 
askt the matter. Jack comes — He tell thee, Willy, quoth hee. 
As I was a playing at cardes, one seeing I wonne all I playd 
for, would needes haue the knaue from mee, which, as very a 
knaue as hee seeing, would needes beare him knaue for com- 
pany I so bid them both welcome to thy house — I haue bin to 
intreat the knaue, thy butler, to make them drinke. I, sayes 
Sir William ; and you, like a knaue, made them fall out. I, 
answered Jack, and your drinke, Sir Knaue, made them friends. 
Sir William, laughing, departed. 

Newes came to Sir William that such a nobleman was com- 
ming to his house : great prouision was made for his welcome ; 
and, amongst all. Jack Oates put on his new motly coate, cleane 
muckender,andhis new shooes. Much preparation was made, 
which were too long to tell $ for. He assure ye, it was one of 
the greatest earles in England, vnfit to name here : but the 


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knight and his ladie met him at the gate to entertaine him. 
Sir William, with a low congy, saluted him ; the good lady, as 
is the courtly custom, was kist of this noble man. Jack Oates, 
seeing him kisse his ladie, on the sodaine giues the earle a sound 
box on the eare. Knaue (quoth he) kisse Sir Willie's wife ? 
The good knight, amazed at this, caused him to be whipt. But 
the kinde noble man, knowing simplicitie the ground of his 
errour, would not suffer it, but, putting it vp, left him, and 
entred the house. Jack, seeing they were end, and he had done 
amisse, had this wit in simplicitie to shadow it : he comes after 
and askt the earle wher his hand was ? Here (quoth he) — with 
that he shakes him by it, and sayes, I mistooke it before, know- 
ing not your eare from your hand, being so like one cmother. 
Jack thought hee had mended the matter ; but now he was 
whipt indeede, and had his payment altogether. Thus fooles, 
thinking to be wise, become flat foolish : but all is one. Jack 
neuer repented him. 

At a Christmas time, when great logs furnish the hall fire — 
when brawne is in season, and, indeede, all reveling is regarded, 
this gallant knight kept open house for all commers, where 
beefe, beere, and bread was no niggard. Amongst all the 
pleasures prouided, a noyse of minstrells and a Lincolnshire 
bagpipe was prepared — the minstrels for the great chamber, 
the bagpipe for the hall — the minstrells to serue vp the knights 
meate, and the bagpipe for the common dauncing. Jack could 
not endure to bee in the common hall ; for, indeede, the foole 
was a little proudly minded, and, therefore, Was altogether in 
the great chamber, at my ladies or Sir Williams elbow. One 
time, being' very melancholy, the knight, to rouse him vp, saide, 
Hence, foole ! lie haue another foole ; thou shalt dwell no longer 
with me. Jack to this answered little ; though, indeede, ye 
could not anger him worse. A gentleman at the boord an* 
swers. If it please you, sir, He bring ye another foole soone. 
I pray ye do (quoth the knight) and he shall be welcome. 
Jack fell a crying, and departed mad and angry down into the 


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great hall ; and, being starong armed (as before t described 
him), caught the bagpipes from the piper, knockt them aboat 
his pate, that he laid the fellow for dead <m the ground^ and, 
all broken, carries the pipes vp into the great chamber, and 
byes them on ike fire. The knight, knowing by Jack tiiat 
something was amisse, sendee downe to see. Newes of this 
jest came ; the knight, angry (but to no purpose, for he k>aed 
the foole aboue all, and that the household knew, else Ja^ had 
paid for it, for the ccxnmon peoples dauncing was sp<nled) sent 
downe Jadi, and bad him out of his sight. Jack cries, Hang 
Sir Willy, hang Sir Willy, and departes. 

Sir William, not knowing how to amend the matter, caused 
the piper to be carried to bed, who was very ill, and said, t 
would nowgiue a gold noble for a foole: indeede, to anger him 
throughly, one of the minstrels whispers a gentleman in the 
ears, and said. If it pleased him, hee would ; whoeat the 
gentleman laught. The knight demaunded the reason of his 
laughing* I pray you teU me (quoth hee)* — for laughing oould 
neuer come in a better time — the foole hath madded me. If 
it please you (sayes the gentleman), here is a good fellow will 
goe and attire him in one of his coates, and can in all poynts 
behaue himselfe naturally, like such a one. It is good (sayes 
the knight) and I prethee, good fellow, about it $ and one 
goe call Jack Oates hether, that wee may hold him with talk 
in the meane time. 

The simple minstrell, thinking to worke wonders, as one 
oueijoyed at the' good opportunitie, threw his fiddle one way, 
his stick another, and his case the third way, and was in such 
a case of joy, that it was no boot to bid him make hast: but, 
proud of the knights fauor, away he flings, as if he went to 
tak possession of some great lordship ; but, what ere he got by 
it, I am sure his fiddle, with the fall, fell in pieces, which grieued 
his maister so, that, in loue and pittie, he laughed till the water 
ran downe his cheekes. Beside, this good knight was like to 

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keepe a bad Christmas^ for the bagpipes and the musicke went 
to wracke-'-the one burnt, and the other broken. 

In comes Jack Gates, and (being merry) told the knight and 
the rest that acomitry-wench in the hall had eaten garlicke, and 
there was seuenteene men poysoned with kissing her : for it 
was his vae to jest thus. By and by comes in a messenger (one 
of the knights men) to tell him that such a gentleman had sent 
his foole to dwell with him, Hee is welcome, sayes the knight, 
for I am weaty of this foole : goe bid him come in — Jack, bid 
him welcome. They all laught to see Jack's colour come and 
goe, like a wise man ready to make a good end. What say 
you to this P sales the knight. Not one word sayes Jack. They 
tinged with a knife at the bottome of a glasse, as touUing the 
bell for the foole, who was speechlesse and would dye (then 
which nothing could more anger him) ; but now the thought 
of the new come foole so much moued him, that he was as dead 
as a doore nayle — standing on tip-toe, looking toward the door 
to behold ariuall, that he would put his n<»e out of joint. 

By and by enters my artificiall foole in his old cloaths, 
making wry mouthes, daimcing, and looking a squint : who, 
when Jack beheld, sodainely he flew at him, and so violently 
beate him, that aU the table rose, but could scarce get him 
off. Well, off he was at length : the knight caused the broken 
ones to be by themseluee. My poore minstrell, with a fell, 
had his head broke to the skull against the ground, his face 
scratcht ; that which was worst of all his left eye put out, and 
withall so sore bruised, that he could neyther stand nor goe. 
The knight caused him to bee laide with the pjrper, who was 
also hurt in the like conflict, who lackt no good looking to, 
because they miscarried in the knights seruice : but euer 
after Jack Gates could not endure to heare any talke of ano- 
ther foole to be there, and the knight durst not make such a 
motion. The pyper and the minstrel, being in bed together, 
one cryed, O ! his backe and fietce ; the other, G ! his face and 
eye : the one cryed G his pype ! the other, O his fiddle ! Good 


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mussicke or broken consorts, they agree well together ; but 
when they were well, they were contented for their paines : 
they had both money and the knights fauour. Here you 
haue heard the difference twixt a flat foole naturall, and a 
flat foole artificiall ; one that did his kinde, and the other 
who foolishly followed his owne minde : on which two is 
written this Rime : — 

Naturall fooles are prone to selfe conceipt : 
Fooles artificiall, with their wits lay wayte 
To make themselues fooles, liking the disguise. 
To feede their owne mindes, and the gazers eyes. 
Hee that attempts daunger, and is free. 
Hurting himseUe, being well, cannot see. 
Must with the fidler, heere^ weare the fooles coates, 
' ^^ And bide his pennance sign'd him by Jack Oates. 
All such, say I, that use flat foolerie, 
Beare this, beare more ; this flat foole's companie. 

Jack Oates could neuer abide the cooke, by reason that he 
would scald him out of the kitchen. Upon a time he had a 
great charge from his Lady to make her a quince pie of pur- 
pose for Sir Williams owne eating, which the cooke en- 
deuored to doe, and sent to Lincolne of purpose to the apo- 
thecaries for choyse quinces. Jack, being at this charge 
giuen, thought to be euen with the cooke, and waited the 
time when this Pie was made. It hapned so, the cooke could 
get no quinces : my lady (for it was the knight's desire to 
haue one) sent about to Boston, and all the chiefe townes, but 
all in vaine— the season serued not; but, rather then Sir 
William should be vnfumished, sent to Lincolne againe to 
buy vp many quinces, ready preserved at pothecaries, which 
she had, though with great cost. The knight, asking his 
Lady for his pie, she told him with much adoe she had pre- 
uailed, but with no little paines, in seeking quinces ; for she 


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was fiedne to buy them ready preserued, and to make a vertue 
of necessity that way. Sir William, seeing it was so, said it 
should bee as well eaten, and sent for his friends, gentlemen 
and others of no small account. There was other great 
cheare prouided to fiimish vp this sumptuous feast, and as 
he inuited them, hee tolde them it was a quince pie, which he 
would haue eaten. The day di*ew on, and the gentiles were 
come, and all was in a redinesse, and still Jack forgat not 
the pie, but stood faintly sicke, and refused his meate : the 
knight, sory that his best dish fiiyled him, made no small 
account of his well fare, askte him. Jack, sayes hee, where 
lyes thy paine ? In my mouth, sayes hee (meaning, indeede, 
his mouth hung for the quince pie.) A barber was sent for 
from a market towne hard by, who searcht his mouth, and 
could finde no cause of paine : but Sir William, thinking the 
foole wanted wit to tell his griefe (though not wit to play the 
thiefe) had the barber depart, asking Jacke what he would 
eate ? he sayd, nothing. What he would drinke ? he sayd, 
nothing ; which made Sir William doubt much of his health, 
refusing his liquour when it was usually his practice, and the 
knight joyed in it too : askit him if he would lie downe ? 
still answering no, but would stand by the kitchen fire. The 
knight, that never came there but he did some exployte, forget- 
ting that, led him by the hand (so much he made of him) and 
bad the cooke see he wanted nothing. Jack, standing still, 
groan'd and sayd. If he dyed, he would forgive all the world but 
the cooke. Hang, foole, (sayes the cooke) I care not for thee : 
die to-morrow if thou wilt, and so followed his business. 
They knockt to the dresser, and the dinner went up. Jack 
had a sheepes eye in the oven : anone the second course came, 
the pie was drawne, set by, and among other backt meates 
was to be sent up ; but, wanting sugar, stept aside to the 
spicerie to fetch it ; and Jack, in the meantime, catcheth the 
pie and claps it under liis coate, and so runs through the ha]l 
into the yard, where was a broade moate : and, as he ran, the 


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hot pie burned his belly. I, sayes Jack, are ye so hot, Sir 
Willies pie ? lie quenoe ye anone Sir Willies pie, sayes he ; 
and straight, very subtiUy, leapes into the moate up to the 
arm-pits,^ and there stood eating the pie. The cooke oooiea 
in, misses the pie, withal misses Jack, cryes out. The pie ! 
Sir Williams pie was g(»ie, tiie author of that feast was gone, 
and they all were undone. A hurly burly went tiirough 
the house> and one comes and whispers the lady with the 
newefli : she tdis Sir WUliam how Jack Oates had stolen the 
pie. Jack was searcht for, and anon found in the moate. It 
was told the knight where the foole was eating it. Gentle- 
men (quoth he) we are disfumished of our feast ; for Jack, 
my foole, is in my moate, up to the arme-pits, eating of the 
pie. They laught, and ran to the windows to see the jest s 
then they might see Jack eate, the cooke call, the people 
hallow, but to no purpose. Jadk fed, and, feeding greedily, 
(more to anger the cooke, than disapoint Sir William) ever 
as he burnt his mouth with hast, dipt the pie in the water to 
coole it. O ! sayes the cooke, it is Sir William's owne pie, 
sirra, O ! sayes Jack hang thee and Sir Willy too : I care 
not i it is nune now. Save Sir William some, sayes one ; 
save my lady some, sayes another. By James, not a bit, 
sayes] Jack ; and eate up all» to the wonder of the beholders, 
who never knew him eate so much before, but drink ten times 
more. J^t length out comes Jack dropping dry, and goes to 
get fire to dry him : the knight and the rest all laught a good 
at the jest : not knowing how to amend it. Sir William sends 
for the cooke, who came up with a sorrowful heart, and, 
lamentably complaining, said it was the knights £Eiult for 
placing him in the kitchen, where he never was but hee did 
like villany. The knight, not satisfied with the cookes an- 
swere, presently discharges him of his service, and sent him 
to live elsewhere. 6oe, sayes he ; trusse up your trinkets 
and be gone. The cooke, seeing no remedy, departed. 
Jack, beiog dry, up he comes; and, knowing he had offended. 


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tels a jest (for it was his maimer so to doe) how a yong man 
brake his codpiece pointy and let all be seene tiiat God sent 
him> or sach fooleries^ but that was not enough ; and to chide 
him was to make of things worse then ^twas, and to no pur- 
pose neither. Sir William demaunded why hee eate the pye ? 
Because I had a stomacke» sayes Jack. Would nought else 
serve, sayes the knight, but my pye? No, Willy, sayes he, 
thou would not b^ angiy then, and the cooke had not been 
turned away : but all is well — thou art rich enough to buy 
more. The knight, perceiving the fooles envie, sent for liie cooke, 
and bid him enjoy his plaee againe* So ail parties [were] well 
pleased but the yong big-bellied woman, who, perchance, longed 
for this long looked for pie ; but if she did, though long lookt 
for comes at last, yet they shoote short that ayme to hit this 
marke, for Jack Oates had eaten the pie and served himselfe. 
This was a flat foole ; yet, now and then, a blind man may hit 
a crow, and you know a fooles boult is soone shot : out it goes, 
happen how. it will. Had Jack kept his owne counsell, the 
cooke had beene still out of service, and [he] had been revenged,' 
but now, being in his place agame, may live to cry quittance 
for the quince pye. 

These, quoth the World, are pretty toyes. I, quoth the phi- 
losopher, but marke the applyance. By Jack Oates is morrally 
meant many described like him ; though not fooles natural!, yet 
most artifidall : they carde hence what their parents spin, and 
doe such apish tricks, that rapine, mine, and a thousand inconve- 
niences, follow. By the knight is meant maintainers of foolery : 
by the hall, the inne where the cards of vanity causeth many 
to be bewitcht ; as appears in the serving men, who, busie in 
others braules, are as easily made friends, as they were set to- 
gether by the ears. By the second is meant [those who] reach 
at stars, ayming at honour, lighting sometime on the eare of 
memory, but ill taken because badly meant— »is rewarded with a 
deserved whipping. By the third is called to question most that 
musically fret their time out in idle baubling, and will become 


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artificiall fooles to outbraue fooles indeede^ but stick often in 
their owne qiuck-eands, and are got out with repentance. But 
the fourth and last shews the deuouring of deuoutions dyet : 
how euer come by, yet they will stand up to the arme-pits in 
daunger rather than to lack their wills, to slacke or rebate the 
edge of their appetites. With this the World, a little humde 
and haide, said shee was not pleased that such lined, and did 
promise some amendment, but desired to see further. 

Now our philosophical poker pokte on, and poynted to a 
strange shew ; the fat foole^ not so tall, but this &t foole as 
low, whose description runs in meeter thus : — 

This fat foole was a Scot borne, brought vp 
In Sterlin, twenty miles from Edinborough, 
^\llo, being but young, was for the king caught vp ; 
Ser*ud this king's father all his life time through. 
A yard high and a nayle, no more, his stature ; 
Smooth fact, fayre spoken, yet vnkinde by nature. 
Two yards in compasse and a nayle, I reade^ 
Was he at forty yeeres, since when I heard not 
Nor of his life or death, and further heede, 
Since I neuer read, I looke not, nor regard not. 
But what at that time lemy Camber was. 
As I haue heard He write, and so let passe. 
His head was small, his hayre long on the same : 
One eare was bigger then the other farre; 
His fore-head full, his eyes shinde like a flame, 
His nose flat, and his beard small, yet grew square ; 
His lips but littie, and his wit was lesse. 
But wide of mouth, few teeth, I must confesse. 
His middle thicke, as I haue said before ; 
Indifierent thighs and knees, but very short ; 
His legs be square, a foot long and no more ; 
Whose very presence made the king much sport. 
And a pearle spoone he still wore in his cap. 
To eate his meate he loued, and got by hap. 


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A pretty little foote, but a big hand, 

On which he ever wore rings rich and good. 

Backward well made as any in that land, 

Though thicke ; and he did come of gentle bloud : 

But of his wisdome ye shall quickly heare 

How tiiis fat foole was made on every where. 

The World, smiling at this rime, describing so unseemly a 
portackt, gaue leave to the rest, and desired greatly to be satis- 
fied with something done, as one longing to know what so 
round a trust lump could performe. The poking art* s maister 
tels his doing thus. 

When the kings and nobles of Scotland had welcomed Jemy 
Camber to the court, (who was their countryman, borne in 
Sterlin, but twenty miles from Edinborough, this kings birth- 
towne, as Greenvich was our late queenes) they reasoned 
with him to understand his wit, which indeed was just none at 
all, yet merry and pleasing, whereat the king rejoiced : and, 
seeing he was so fat, caused his doctors and phisitians to mi- 
nister to him ; but phisick could not alter nature, and he would 
neuer be buta S. Vincent's turnip, thicke and round. Where- 
fore the doctors persuaded his grace that the purging of the 
sea was good for him. Well, nothing was undone that might be 
done to make Jemy Camber a tall, little, slender man, when 
yet he lookt like a Norfolke dumpling, thicke and short : well, 
to Leith was he sent, which is the harbour towne of such ships 
as arrive at Edinborough ; neerer they cannot come, which is 
some mile from the cittie. To sea they put in a ship, at whose 
departure they discharged ordinance, as one that departed from 
the land with the kings fauour : the Earle Huntly was sent 
with him to sea to accompany him, so high he was esteemed 
with the king, who, hearing the ordinance goe off, would aske 
what doe they now ? Marry, says the Earle, they shoot at our 
enemies. O, saies hee, hit, I pray God I Againe they dis- 
cliarge. What doe they now ? quoth hee. Marry, now the 


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enimie shoots at us. O, misse^ I pray God I (sayes Jemy Cam- 
ber) . So euer after it was a jest in the Scottish court. Hit or 
misse, quoth JeniSf Camber ; that if a maide had a barhe, and 
did penance at the crosse, in the high towne of Edinborough, 
What hath shee done? did she hit or misse? She hath hit, 
sayes the other : better she had mist^ sayes the first ; and so 
long time after this jest was in memory — ^yea, I have heard it 
myselfe, and some will talke of it at this day. Well, to sea 
they put, on a faire, sunshine day, where Jemy stood fearful of 
every calme billow, where it was no boote to bid him tell what 
the ship was made of, for he did it dououtly. But see the 
chance : a sodaine flaw or gust rose ; the winds held strong 
east and by west, and the ship was in great danger, insomuch 
as the Earle, maister and all, began to feare the weather. By 
and by a stronger gale blew, and split their maine-maste, and 
gaue their ship a mighty leake, insomuch as the crack made 
them all screeck out : which Jemy, hearing, was almost dead 
with feare. Some fell to pumping, others oh their knees to 
praying ; but the fat foole, seeing themselves in this daunger, 
thought there was no way but one with them, and was half 
dead with feare : in the end the winde turned, and the raging 
of the sea began to cease. I warrant thee now (quoth the 
maister) Jemy, wee shall not bee drowned. I, will ye warrant 
us ? sayes the foole. I, sayes the maister, He giue thee my 
ship for thy chaine^ if we bee drowned : beare witnesse, my 
lord, sayes hee, a plaine bargaine ; and with that threw the 
maister his chaine, who would have given it to the Earle, but 
joy of their escape made him delight in the jest, and therefore 
the maister enjoyed his bargaine. With much adoe they at- 
tained thether againe, where the king, feareful before, awayted 
their landing now ; and, seeing Jemy not a jot lesse of body 
then hee was (onely lightened of his chaine) How now ? quoth 
hee ; how dost thou, man ? O ! sayes Jemy, well now, king ; 
but till had not the maister beene, who warranted our lines for 
my chaine, the best bargaine that euer I made, for no way could 


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I haue been a looser. How ? sayes the king ? Marry, He tell 
thee king, quoth hee : say we had beene drowned, his ship 
was forfeit to me for my chaine : Earle Huntley was a witness 
to the bargaine ; and now we are not drowned^ for my chaine 
did warrant our liues of the maister.^ Nay^ says the earle, 
not our liues ; none but yours, Jemy : our liues was as safe 
warranted without a chaine. With this the foole had some 
feeling of sence, and on a sodaine cryed out mainly for his 
chaine, which was restored to him by the maister ; but hee 
lost nothing by that, for he attayned to a suit, as the story 
sayes, that he had beene three yeeres about Thus the king 
and nobles went toEdinborough, merrily talking of their feare 
and welfare, 

Jemy, this fat foole, used every day to goe from the abbey, 
in the low towne by the hill, into the citie of Edinborough ; 
and one euening, above the rest, he met with a broken virgin, 
one that had a bame (as there they are known by their attire) 
wearing a loose kerchiefe, hanging downe backward : she, I 
saye, cried sallets,as thus — Buy any cibus salletea ? Jemy, desi- 
rous of sallets, calles her to him. Lasse, sayes he, what shall I 
giue thee for a good sallet ? Faire sire, sayes the wench (for 
shee knew him for the kings foole, and she could not please him 
better then to call him faire sir) you giue me an atchison. 
Now he, hauing nothing but sike French crownes about him, 
Canst thou change mee a crowne? sayes he. Yea, sire, sayes 
shee. He gives her a crowne, and shee gives him a sallet for 
it, and shee went her way. 

Jemy thinks it was much to give a crowne for that^ for 
which shee did demand but an atchison^ which in our money 
is but three farthings : he runnes after and sayes, she had his 
fayrest crowne ; but, sayes hee, giue mee that, and take your 
choice of these, thinking by that deuise to get the first 
crowne againe. Will ye chaunge ? sayes the lasse : I, sayes 
the foole ; so she takes all the fine, and giues him one againe, 
and so laughing at his folly goes her way. It was in vaine 



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to exclayme, for they will hold fast what they get ; but my 
fat foole goes home to eate his sallet, and inuites the king to 
a deare dish, and made him laugh heartily at the jest. The 
king calls for winiger to his sallet, because his sweet meate 
should haue sower sauce, and perswaded him it was well 
bought : otherwise, if the foole had repented his bargaine, it 
was bis manner to try for his money againe ; yet, with it all, 
the court could not quiet him. 

Betwixt Edinborough Abbey, the king's place, and Leeth, 
there stands an euen plaine greene meddow, in which the king 
used most of his sports : amongst which he rode thether one 
day to run at the glove, or the ring, as his grace should please. 
With him rides Jemy Camber on a trotting mule : it was then 
•a maruailous hot day. O ! sales Jemy, how cold the wether 
is (so wise was hee that hee scarce knew hot from colde). No, 
sayes the king, it is hot ; looke how I sweat. No, sayes Jemy, 
the suime blowes very colde. No, sayes the king, the winde 
shines very hot. The foole was ahnost angry to be crossed, 
and said hee would be hanged at night, if hee did sweat that 
day. With this merry talke they rode on ; but one of the 
king's footmen hearing this, told the king at their return hee 
would make his grace laugh heartily. So the king very gal- 
lantly ranne that time, and neuer missed the glove, and so 
did the lords ; which Jemy seeing, said it was nothing to doe. 
The king bade him runne 5 he did so, but the gloue lay still, 
€uid Jemy could not doe it. The king's footman (that matcht 
to doe him a good tume) said Jemy could doe it better blind- 
fold. What, can he ? quoth the king : I will neuer beleeue it. 
You shall see else, quoth hee ; whereat Jemy maruelled much 
that without sight a man could doe that, which with all his 
might and sight he could not doe, was desirous to make tryall ; 
so was blinded with a scarfe, while another tooke up the gloue, 
and was ready for the jest. Jemy runs : Now for my maisters, 
sales hee. They all shout aloud and cry rarely well done, and 
one unblindes him, while another puts the glove on the speare. 

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So simple hee was^ that hee thought it was strange, and 
bragged all that day not a little. The king did alight, and 
went to drink wine at the Lord Hume's house, and Jemy went 
with him, while the footeman had time to worke his will, and 
mingling a conceit with butter (which I will not name, least 
some one should practise the like) clapt it under the saddle ; 
and, as they rode to Edinborough, sayes the king, what say 
you to the weather now, Jemy ? Mee thinks it is hotter than 
it was. Nay, it is colder, sayes he, for I begin to sweat. 

The trotting of this mule made the mingled confection 
lather so, that it got into his breeches^ and wroght up to the 
crowne of his head, and to the sole of his foote, and so he sweat 
profoundly. Still he whipt and he whipt, sweating more and 
more : they laught a good to see him in that taking. Now 
you must be hanged, says the king, as your bargaine was, for 
you sweat very much. What remedie ? sayes hee. I am con- 
tent to be hanged, but while I live after He never beleeue cold 
weather will make one sweat. No more will I, sayes the king, 
but hot weather will. Hot or colde, sayes Jemy, I am warme 
now, I am sure : I would I were ouer head and eares in some 
riuer to coole mee. So simple hee was that he knew not 
wether it was the sunne or the winde made him sweat. At 
night the king caused him to be washed and perfumed, yet 
he was scarce sweet twenty days after. Thus this fat foole 
chaft, but not in his owne grease. 

Jemy, who was, as you have heard, a tall low man, and was 
swift of foote, on a time challenged the king's best footeman, 
for a wager, to run with him from the abbey, up the hill, to 
Cannegate (which stood entering to Edenborough, as Ludgate 
doth to London, and the King's place about Temple-barre.) 
The king being told of this challenge thought it would be 
good sport to see it performed, still perswaded Jemy to dare 
his footeman, who before denyed him, and knew fooles would 
talk any thing, though far unfit to perform any thing. Still 
the king would say he was made nimble to runne, and askt 


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euery nobleman's judgement, who likewise soothed the king r 
it was so that they made him beleeue himself swift of foote, 
that I think in the end Jemy perswaded himselfe that none 
but fat men could run well, and nimble men, being light, 
would fall soonest ; considering that light things, being of 
small substance, not feeling themselves, would surely &I1. 
But here is the sport — the footeman, seeing it was tiie king's 
pleasure to see the wager tryed, dared him, which made Jemy 
mad, that he would run with him from Bdinborough to Bar- 
wicke (which was forty miles) in one day ; a thing as unpos- 
sible as to pull down a church in one houre, and to build .it 
againe in another : for Jemy was lost in the king's company 
once of purpose, but fine miles from the citty, at the Earle 
Morton's castle at da Keth, and they thought hee would 
neuer haue come home againe : when the king heard euery 
houre hee was comming, and still as hee entreated euery pas- 
senger to let him ride, by the king's watch in the high-way 
they had warning giuen to the contrary, for he was seauen 
days going the fine myle : then^ judge how long hee would be 
a running fortie. You will muse how hee did for meate all 
the time. He tell you how : he fasted all day, and went sup- 
perlesse to bed; but being in his first sound sleepe, meate 
was brought and laide by him, and a choppin of wine (for so 
they call it there) which made him at his coming to court tell 
the king that heauen was gentler than earthly men [who] would 
shew him no favour, neyther to ride nor feede him, when he 
was euery night cast into a sound sleepe ; then when he wakt 
hee was sure of meate from heauen to feede on, when the 
meate came from the king's kitchen at Edenborough Abbey. 
But to goe forward with our challenge. The king said the 
first word should stand, and on Jemie's head he laid a thou- 
sand marks : the Lady Carmichell, that laught to heare all 
this, wagered as much on the footeman's head. The day was 
appointed the next morning, being Thursday, to begin at fiue 
a' clock in the afternoone, in the coole of the euening, and 


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eury one to his race must make him ready. Jemy, as he had 
seene the king's footeman doe, washt his feet with beere, and 
soakt them in butter ; so all that night and the next day there 
was nothing but Jemy and his prouision to that great journey. 
The time came — Jemy was stript into his shirt, trust round 
for the purpose : the footeman and hee begins to runne ; the 
footeman makes shew of great labour, and the foole made the 
substance, for he was quickly in a sweat. They puft and they 
blowede ; they ran as swifte as a pudding would creepe. Jemy 
though^ himselfe no smal foole to outnm the footeman, and 
did in his minde assure himselfe to win. The king laughs to 
see the toyle he made, and the footeman made great shew and 
little paines. By and by, Jemy calls for drinck) and the 
king, loath hee should haue any harme with labour, caused 
him to haue a mixed drincke to cast him into a sleepe ; who, 
when he had drunck, as hee ran on his wager, he dropt downe 
in the streete, as heauy as if a leaden pliuxunet, that makes a 
jack tume a spit, had fallen on the earth dab. There hee 
slept, and was carryed by commaund to the top of the hill, 
and laid downe againe : there hee slept halfe an houre, and 
when he wakt he remembered his journey. Seeing people 
still about him, up hee gets, away he jogs, and neuer lookes 
behinde him ; and seeing Cannegate so neare him, had not 
the wit to wonder how hee came there, but laid hold on the 
ring of the gate, and staid to bee seene. 

By and by the footeman comes sweating, with water poured 
on his face and head. O, my heart ! sayes hee. O, my legs ! 
sayes Jemy : I will not doe so much for all Scotland againe. 

Well, Jemy cries Victory ! victory ! and there was the king's 
coach at hand to carry him home, for himselfe he neuer could 
haue gone, had his life lain on it. But when hee came home, 
the bragge hee made, the glory hee got, how hee outran the 
footman (and ran so easily as if he had been a sleepe) was 
wonderful! . I, it was sport enough for the king, a month after, 
to heare him tell it. Well, the king wonne the wager, he 


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thought, and that was honour sufficient for him. Not three 
days after hee bad the king put away all his footemen, and 
hee would seme his tume to any place. The king thanked 
him for his good will, and said, when his neede was great, hee 
would make bold to use him. So Jemy, this fat foole, euer 
bragged of this wager. 

There was a laundres of the towne, whose daughter used 
often to the court to bring home shirts and bands, which Jemy 
had long time loued and solicited, but to no end : she would 
not yeeld him an inch of her maidenhead. Now Jemy vowed 
he would haue it all : well, she consented at last ; and, to be 
short, soone at night, at nine a'clocke, being in the winter, 
when shee knew her mother to bee gone to watch with a sick 
body, he should come, and all that night lye with her. Jemy, 
though witlesse, wanted no knavish meaning, thought long tiU 
it was night. But in the aftemoone, this mayd goes up to the 
castle and gathers a great basket of nettles, and comming 
home strawes them under the bed. Night comes, nine a'clock 
strikes ; Jemy on his horse comes riding forward, sets him 
up, and knockes at the doore : she lets him in, and bids him 
welcome, bonny man. To bed he goes ; and Jemy euer used 
to lye naked, as is the use of a number, amongst which num- 
ber she knew Jemy was one ; who no sooner was in bed, but 
shee herself knocked at the doore, and herself askt who was 
there? — which, Jemy hearing, was afraid of her mother. 
Alas ! sir (sayes shee), my mother comes, creepe under the 
bed. Jemy bustled not a little — under hee creepes, stark 
naked, where hee was stung with nettles. Judge, you that 
haue feeling of such matters : there hee lay, turning this way 
and that way ; here hee stung his leg, there his shoulder, 
there his buttockes : but the mayde hauing lockt the doore to 
him, went to bed, and there lay he in durance (as they say) 
till morning. When the day broke, up gets the maide, to 
court she goes, and tels the king's chamberlaine of the mat- 
ter, and hee told the king, who laughed thereat right heartily. 


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The chamberlaine was sent to see him there, who, when hee 
came, found him fast a sleepe under the bed, starke naked, 
bathing in nettles ; whose skinne, when he wakened him, was 
a]l blistered grievously. The king's chamberlaine bid him 
arise and come to the king. I will not, quoth hee : I will go 
make my graue. See how things chanced ! he shape truer 
than he was awar ; for the chamberlaine going home without 
him tolde the king his answere. Jemy rose, made him ready, 
takes his horse and rides to the church-yard in the high towne, 
where he found the sexton (as the custom is there) making 
nine graues, three for men, three for women, and three for 
children ; and whoso dyes next, first comes, first serued. Lend 
mee thy spade, sayes Jemy ; and with that digs a hole, which 
hole hee bids him make for his graue, and doth giue him a 
French crowne. The man, willing to please him (more for his 
gold than his pleasure) did so ; and the foole gets on his horse, 
and rides to a gentleman of the towne, and on the sodaine 
within two hours after dyed ; of whom the sexton telling, hee 
was buried there indeed. Thus you see fooles have a guess at 
wit sometime, and the wisest could haue done no more — not so 
much. But this fat foole fills a leane graue, with his carkasse, 
upon which graue the king caused a stone of marble to bee 
put, on which the poets writ these lines in remembrance of 
him — 

He that gard all men till jeare, 

Jemy a Camber he ligges here ; 

Pray for his sail, for he is geane. 

And here a ligges beneath this steane. 

Is this possible, sayes the World, that I should bee so serued ? 
Nay, thou art worce serued heareafter, sayes hee, for thou 
knowest not the following sceane ; but attend it. By the foole 
is meant all fatnesse ; by the king, Nature, that nurst him ; 
by the nobles, such as sooth him ; and by the ship, thee, in 
which many dangers are floating, through the sense of sinne : 


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and 80, if life were awarranted fodles, &t ones, rich Qnes, would 
give the chaine of their soules, that is linked to saluaion^ onely 
to inherit this earth in thy company ; when earth, though it 
bee heauen to hell, by reason of the paines, yet the comparison 
auerts ; it is hell to heauen in respect of pleasures. 

By the second is meant the surfets of soule and body, that 
fooles buy with their gold, not sparing any price to please ap- 
petite, though the edge of it slice frome the bosome of good old 
Abraham very heauen itselfe. 

By the Hard, how the &t fooles of this age will gronte and 
sweat under this massie burden, and purge to the crown from 
the foote, though their bndne perish through the prevailing 
practise of busie endeauour. The mule, morrally signifies 
the diuell, upon whose trot their fatnesse takes ease, and 
rides a gallop to destruction. 

By the fourth taile is prefigned the presumption of great- 
nesse, who are willing to outrun speede itselfe through greedy 
desire. In this is showne how flattery feedes them, placing 
before them, as in a sleepe, worke and wonder ; when, to say 
sooth, all is not worth the wonder : their desire is more than 
abilitie to performe, and tiieir practise above all ; yet the nim- 
ble overshoot them in act, leaning them a quicknesse in will. 

In the fifth, answere is made to the fourth, when often such 
forwarde deedes meete with backward lurches, and they are 
stung with their own foUyes, netling very lust with shame and 
disgrace : it signifies adultery in fat ones, who (aboue their 
owne) whoring after strange gods, make their religion ride 
hackney to hell, and when shame takes them from the horse, 
they make their own graues, and are buried in their own 
shame, with this motto above written — 

Fat fooles gather to their woe 
Sorrow, shame, and care ; 
Here they lye that gallopt so. 
In Death's ingraued snare. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


This morrall motion gaue the World such a buffet, that she 
skrindge her face as though shee were pmcht home; yet, 
seeing no remedy but that the flat and fat fooles should draw 
in her coach together, shee sets in the boote and rides on. 
The crittick reacheth his glasse to her view, and presents the 

O ! this was a humorous sir, indeede, leane Leonard : they 
call him a foole of strange and prepostrous breeding, begot of 
enuie, and out of doubt his base sonne : his description hath a 
straine of more wonder-^long, like a lath, and of proportion 
little better ; but giue his report hearing— 

Curled locks on idiots* heads, 

Yeallow as the amber, 
Playes on thoughts as girls with beads. 

When their masse they stamber. 
Thicke of hearing, yet thin ear'd. 

Long of neck and visage, 
Hookie nosde and thicke of beard, 

Sullen in his visage. 
Clutter fisted, long of arme. 

Bodied straight and slenderM, 
Boisterous hipt, motley warme, 

Euer went leane Leonard. 
Gouty leg'd, footed long, 

Subtill in his folUe, 
Shewing right, but apt to wrong, 

When apeard most holy. 
Vnderstand him as he is, 

For his marks you cannot misse. 

You heare, maddam, sayes our cinnick, how he is markt : if 
ye meete him in your pottage-dish, yet know him. The World, 
though shee loued not the description, yet shee coueted his 
condition, and began to woe his report; which, making no 
bones of, the sweete youth gaue his doings thus. 


by Google 


In the merry forest of Shearewood dwells a kind gentleman, 
whose name I omit, fearing I too much offend in meddling 
with his foole ; but I trust he will pardon me, for sithence, he 
is so well knowne thereabouts, I thinke it not amisse to tell it 
at London, that people seeing the strange workes of €rod, in 
his differing creatures, we that haue perfect resemblance of 
God, both in sence and similitude, may the better praise his 
name, that wee differ from them whose humours we read, see, 
and heare, are not so strange as true. I say againe this gentle- 
man had a foole, Leonard they call[ed} him, leane of body, look- 
ing like enuie, whose conditions agree with his countenance. 
One time aboue all other^ hee lockt himselfe into a parlour, 
where all alone hee played at slide groat, as his manner was : 
peices or counters he had none ; yet, casting hi» hand empty 
from him, fly, saies hee : short with a vengeance ! then, play, 
saies hee (to his fellow) when, indeede, there is none but him- 
selfe ; but thus with supposes he playes alone, swaggers with 
his game fellow, out-sweares him with a thousand oaths, chal- 
lenges him the field to answere him if hee bee a man, appoynts 
the place and all, that if any one not knowing his conditions 
should stand without and heare him, would thinke two swag- 
gerers were fighting in the roome. 

To his play againe he fals, seauen up for twelve pence, for 
that is his game still : well, they fall out, they go together by 
the eares, and such a hurly-burly is in the roome, that passes. 
At last the stooles they flye about, the pots they walke, the 
glasses they goe together ; nay, the prayer-bookes they flie into 
the fire, that such a noise there was that the whole house won- 
dered at his folly. Persuasions wer to no purpose ; doores hee 
would open none, till they violently brake them open, though 
they were of gold ; and so they did, and entered the parlour, 
found all this leuell coyle, and his pate broken, his face scratcht, 
and leg out of joynt ; as a number say to this houre that hee is 
a play-fellow for the diuelle, and in game they cannot agree. 
But that is otherwise ; for, in the great hall, at the senung 


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man's request, he will play by himselfe, if they will not play 
with him ; and whoso playes with him, though they play for 
nothing, and with nothing, all is one, they must fall out ; and 
if others be not by to part them, mischiefe may bee done, for 
he will lay it on, take it off who will : so that at his first com« 
ming he endaungered many, and now take heed is a faire thing, 
for few will come neere him. Thus you see that fooles that 
want wit to goueme themselves well, have a wilfull will to goe 
forward in folly. 

This leane^ greedy foole having a stomacke, and seeing the 
butler out of the way, his appetite was such, as loath to tarry, 
breakes open the dairy house, eats and spoils new cheesecurds, 
cheesecakes, ouerthrowes creame bowles, and having filled his 
belly, and knew he had done euill, gets him gone to Mansfield 
in Sherwood^ as one fearefull to be at home. The maydes 
came home that morning from milking, and finding such a 
masaker of their dairie, almost mad, thought a yeere^s wages 
could not make amends. But, O the foole ! leane Leonard, they 
cried, he did this mischief : they complayned to their master, 
but to no purpose ; Leonard was farre enough off, search was 
made for the foole, but hee was gone, none knew wither ; and 
it was his propertie, hauing done mischiefe, neuer to come 
home of himselfe, but if any one intreated him, he would 
easily be won. All this while the foole was at Mansfield in 
Sherwood, and stood gaping at a shoomaker^s stall ; who, not 
knowing him, asked him what he was? Goe looke, sayes hee: 
I know not myselfe. They asked him where hee was borne ? 
At my mother's backe, sayes hee. In what coimtry P quoth 
they. In the country, quoth hee, where God is a good man. 
At last one of these journeymen imagined he was not very 
wise, and flouted him very merrily, asking him if he would 
haue a stitch where there was a hole? (meaning his mouth). 
I, quoth the foole, if your nose may be the needle. The shoo- 
maker could have found in his heart to have tooke measure on 
his pate with a last, instead of his foote, but let him goe as 


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be was. A country plow-jogger being by, noting all this, 
secretly stole a peice of shoomaker's waze off the stall, and 
coming behinde him, clapt him on the head, and asked him 
how he did ? The foole, seeing the pitch ball, pulled to haue it 
off, but could not but witii much paine, in an enuious spleene, 
smarting ripe runes after him, fals at fistie cuffes with him ; 
but the fellow belaboured the foole cunningly, and got the 
foole's head under his arme, and bobM his nose. The £9ole, 
remembring how his head was, strikes it up, and hits the fel- 
lowe's mouth with the pitcht place, so ttiat the haire of his 
head and the haire of the clowne's beard were glued together. 
The fellow cryed, the foole exclaimed, and could not sodainely 
part : in the end, the people (after much laughing at the jest) 
let them part fisdre ; the one went to picke his beard, the other 
his head. The constable came, askt the cause of their falling 
out, and knowing one to be Leonard, the leane foole, whom he 
had a warrant from the gentleman to search for, demands of 
the fellow how it hapned. The fellow bee could answere 
nothing, but um ; um, quoth hee againe, meaning bee would 
tell him all when his mouth was cleane; but the constable 
thinking hee was mockt, clapt him in the stocks, where the 
fellow sat a long houre farming his mouth ; and when hee 
had done, and might tell his griefe, the constable was gone to 
carry home Leonard to his maister, who, not at home, hee was 
enforced to stay supper-time, where hee told the gentleman 
the jest, who was very merrie to heare the story, contented the 
officer, and bad him set the fellow at liberty, who, betimes in 
the morning, was found fast asleepe in the stocks. The fellow 
knowing himselfe faulty, put up his wrongs, quickly departed, 
and went to work betimes that morning with a flea in his eare. 
The gentleman with whom this Leonard dwelt, having 
bought a goodly fayre hawke, brought her home, being not a 
little proud of his penny-worth, and at supper to other gentle- 
men fell a praysing of her, who, soothing up his humour, 
likewise fayled not to adde a toarch of fire to enorease more 


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flame ; for indeede the bird was worthy of commeDdationSy and 
therefore did merit prayses. Leonard standing by with his 
finger in his month, as it was his custome, after hearing them 
praise the goodnesse of the hawke, thought indeede they had 
meant for goodnesse, being farre better meate then a turkey or 
a swan, was very desirous to eate of the same ; and unknowne 
goes downe, and sodainely from the pearch snatcht the hawke, 
and hauing wrung off her neck, begins to besiedge that good 
morsell, but with so good a courage, that the feathers had al- 
most choakt him ; but there lay my friend Leonard in a la- 
mentable taking. Well, the hawke was mist, and the deede 
was found : the maister was fetcht, and all men might see the 
hawke, feathers and all, not very well digested. There was no 
boote to bid runne for drams to driue down this undigested 
moddicombe ; the gentleman of the one side cryed, hang the 
foole ! the foole on the other side cryed not, but made signes 
that his hawke was not so good as hee did praise her for ; and, 
though the gentleman loued his hawke, yet he loued the foole 
aboue, being enforced rather to laugh at his simplicitie, then 
to vere at his losses sodainely — ^being glad to make himselfe 
merry, jested on it ever after. Upon whose hawke a gentle- 
man of his very wisely writ these lynes, and gaue unto his 

Fooles feede without heede ; unhappy be their feeding 
Whose heed being in such speed, attempted without heeding; 
May they choke that prouoke appetite by pleasure, 
When they eate forbidden meate, and feede so out of mea- 

The gentleman laughed at this rime, yet knew not whether 
more foole he for writing, the other for eating, or he for loosing. 
Well, putting the hare to the goose-giblets, seeing there was 
no remedy, made himselfe pastime, pleased himselfe, and did 
rest contented. 

He tiiat mischiefes many, sometime wrongs himselfe, as 


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hearken to this jest. Leonard of all things loued his wheele- 
barrow, and would worke all day, and carry dung in it, yet 
would sleepe in it at night — he would set up meate for his 
belly in it — ^I, what did hee without it Once at a Christmas 
time, when the fire in the hall was full, Lieonard was sore a 
cold : hee got coles out of the scullery, and put them into his 
barrow, and set them on fire, and so sate him downe to warme 
him, quite forgetting it was made of wood, and wood would 
bume : so, in the end, being warme, goes for a jacke of beere, 
brings it, and sets it on the fire to warme, so that the inside 
melted, and hee dranckt the drinck notwithstanding ; but, on 
the sodaine, he seeing the wheele-barrow flame that he so 
loued, aloud hee cryes, Dmee 1 dmee ! dmee ! and takes it up 
flaming, and trundles it into the hall, among the people, to 
shew. The young men and maydes tmnbled over one another 
for feare : some had their faces burned, others their leges ; the 
maydes their smocks —yea, one set fire on another, for their 
aprons burned, and being many people, the flame increased 
rather then decreased. Leonard, seeing none would helpe 
him, runs (for feare lest the gentleman should know it) and 
thrusts it into the bame to hide it, which some seeing, runs 
after, and, had they not come at that time, the hay and straw 
had beene all burnt, for it was already of a light fire, but 
being quencht out all was well. Such is the enuie of fooles, 
who, seeing none would helpe him, thought to doe them mis- 
chiefe, which he did, but not much. 

The World laughed a good at these jests, though, to say 
sooth, shee could hardly aflFord it, for feare of writhing her 
sweet fauour 3 yet strayning courtesy in this kinde, did, as our 
wantons doe at a feast, spare for manners in company, but 
alone cram most greedily. So shee, forgetting modesty, gapte 
out a laughter, and, like women hardly wonne, cryd More ! 
more ! The currish crittick said shee should, and gaue her the 
third pennerth of the morral, and said : You laugh at leane 
enuie in a long foole, but you have cause to weepe at long 


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enuie in a leane age, as you liue in. This foole cries out not 
all mine, but distributes like a kinde companion^ being a superfi- 
cial! glasse to gaze in. There be leane fooles as well as fat : 
such are they whose noses dropes necessitie, and they smell 
out for church lands, many tenements, onthrifts, surfets, look- 
ing leanely on all this, but feede fatly on hope. This fatnesse 
goes to the heart, not scene in the visage. These seeme sim- 
ple, but, like Leonard, hit home at advantage : they can stop 
men's mouths, and scale them up in advantage, and glue the 
stocks to the simple deseruer, when themselves are not blam- 
lesse. O ! beware when you see a long, meagre looke ; search 
him — he hath also long, reaching fingers, and can slide a groat 
by himselfe, as Leonard did, fall out, curse, sweare, and batter 
heauen itselfe with humour of folly. Such was the leane- 
neckt crane, who had the fat foxe to dinner, making him lick 
the outside of the glasse, while his leannesse fed within. You 
understand me, maddame : such are your landlords to the 
poore, youre leane lords to the fat tennant, or by a figure one 
for the other. Thus they batten heere ; but the diuell will 
«gnaw their bones for it. 

By the third jest we observe a greedinesse in leane folly, 
that, so good a report come in their way» these eat up hawke, 
feathers, and all, to put it by, though they choake in the 
deede. Hereupon comes in leane enuy, swallowes fat bits — I 
mean honest manners — and makes them sterril of all good 
manners, as the lawyer the poore clyant^s plow pence, the cittie 
the country commodities ; that, under the shew of leannesse, 
they fat themselves to the ribs — good hold for flesh hookes at 
the general waste. By the fourth and last (I would it were 
least) it bewrayes a curious and common leannesse in lewd 
liners, who, to revenge on others, will fire their own wheele- 
barrow. Like the leane tennant, who, falling out with his 
landlord, and seeing his neighbour's house on fire, desired his 
neighbours to pull downe his first, for feare of more danger ; 
not that he louede his neighbour's safety and his owne, but that 



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hee hated his landlord : or the contrary, couetous of their 
owne commoditie, fire themselues, and, because they will not 
bum alone, endanger their friends, and say ^tis kind to have 
company. These are fooles, indeed, leane ones ; these are fat 
and foule, and make thicke doings for the diuel's dyet World, 
I name them not; thou knowest them well enough. At this 
shee bit her lip, knowing some that were leane Leonards in 
this ; but kay me He kay thee : giue me an inch to day, He 
giue thee an ell to-morrow, and weele to hell together. The 
World, dimpling her chin with meere modestie, as it were 
throwing off variety of squemish nicetie, began to say. Sooth, 
thou saist true, there are such nicks in mee, but I know not 
how to mende : I am wilUng, but flesh is weake ; prethee be 
more sparing, carpe not, confound not, hope the best amend- 
ment may come. Prethee goe in, furnish thy sallet : these 
hearbs already are sauory^ and I picke out to my appetite, 
and though I bee not altogether pleased, yet am I not quite 
past patience : I will endure, for that disease that festers so 
much receives cure gladly, though it come with exceeding 
paine, yet so much the profit by how much the perplexities,i 
cries cure to the danger. Mistris, sayes Sotto, I am glad to sit 
so neare you ; and to bee thought a kinde neighbour, too, is 
more then the world affords. But looke, who is heere we have ? 
we haue fellowde one with our flat, and fat foole disturbd by 
the leane. Now, as in a history we mingle mirth with matter, 
to make a please plaister for melancholy, so in our glasse we 
present to the leane a cleane. One that was more beloued 
among ladyes than thought can hatch^ or opinion produce. 
His name is Jack^Miller : he lines yet, and hath beene in this 
citie within few dayes, and giue me leaue to describe him 
thus — 

You that follie comprehend. 

Listen to my storie ; 

This description well attend — 

I haue writ it for yee. 


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This cleane nigit was a foole, 

Shapt Id raeane of all. 

And of order fit to rule 

Anger in her loudest brawl. 

Fat and thicke^ neate and cleane. 

And delights in pleasure, 

Saue a nasty ugly etraine 

Of an other measure 

From his nostrils rumatick. 

Griefe it was to see 

Such a simple neatnesse spring 

From imbisillitie. 

Creatures of the better sort. 

For the foole was cleane, 

Gaue him loue with good report. 

Had not this ill beene. 

But let slip it was no faulty 

Men as slougish be. 

Since the wisest jump as short 

In all cleanlynesse as he. 

Alas I quoth the World, I am sorry^ trust me, that one so out- 
wardly well should bee so inwardly ill, and haue that appear- 
ance in nastie defect, which of itselfe is neate ; but go on with 
the repetition, since wee are mended in the condition. Wee 
will winck at small faults, tho wee yeelde it greate in nature. 
Nemo sine crimine, and so forth. I, quoth Sotto, say yee 
me so ? haue at him then, out it goes, but mark it well. 

In a gentleman's house where Jack Miller resorted, as he 
was welcome to all, it chanced so there was a play, the players 
dressed them in the gentleman^s kitchen, and so entered through 
the entry into the hall. It was after dinner, when pyes stood 
in the oven to coole for supper : Jack had not dyned, and 
seeing the oven stand open, and so many pyes there untold, 
(hee thought because they seemed numberlesse) O! sayes 



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Jack, for one of them p — p — pyes, for so hee stammered in 
speaking, llie players boy being by, and in his ladyes 
gowne, could haue found in his heart to creepe in, cloathes and 
all ; but he perswaded Jack to do so, to which hee was willing, 
an(^ very nimbly thrusts his head into the hot oven, which 
being newly opened, on the sodaine hee was singed both of 
head and face, and almost not a hayre left on his eye-brows 
or beard. Jack cryes, O ! I bume, and had not the wit to come 
back, but lay still : the gentlewoman-boy tooke him by the 
heeles, and pulled him out, but how he lookt I pray you judge 
that can discerne fauours. Jack was in a bad taking with his 
face, poore soule, and lookt so ugly and so strangely, that the 
lady of the play, being ready to enter before the gentiles to 
play her part, no sooner began, but, remembring Jack, laught 
out, cuid could goe no further. The gentleman mused at what 
hee laught, but such a jest being easily scene, was told the 
gentleman, who sent in for Jack Miller^ who came like bald 
Time, to tell them time was past of his hayre : but hee so 
strangely lookt, as his countenance was better then the play. 
But against night the players dress themselves in another 
place ; and at supper Jack Miller sang his song of Dirryes 
Faire, with a barmy face to take out the fire, and lookt like 
the poter of the ale-fat. It was no boote to bid him stut and 
stammer, poore foole : as cleane as he was, hee was now but 
beastly faced, for hee looked like a man that, being ashamed to 
shew his face, had hid it in a dry lome wall, and pulling it 
out againe left all the hayre behinde him. 

Jack, on Newyeeres day in the morning, was to carry a 
Newyeeres gift to a gentleman a myle off, and as he staid to 
have it delivered him to beare, asked which was the cleanest 
way thither. A fellow, knowing his cleanlinesse, sends him 
over a durty marsh ; and so hee folded up his band (then 
cleane) for fouling, that at the gentleman's doore he might put 
it on. The present came, which Jack seeing, made legs to 
the gentlewoman, forgetting his band was in his hose, carried 


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a stif neck to and fro to the gentlewoman^ and what ere she 
spake, or where shee stood, Jack would look but one way, as 
though his neck had been starcht. And^ remember, sales the 
gentlewoman, you abuse not my message, nor my gift : No, 
fo, fo, forsooth, sayes Jack ; and away he goes, and thought 
hee would see what it was, and, as hee went he lift up the 
basket lid and lookt. Ah, ha ! quoth Jack, I see it is almond 
bu — y bu — , butter. 

Along he goes, and seeing the marsh wet and durty, thought 
to leape a little ditch, and so to goe a cleane hie way, but (O ! 
poor Jack) hee, basket and all, lay in the midst of the ditch up 
to his arme-pits in mud ; which, Jack seeing, got out, and goes 
to a riuer by, and washes himselfe first, his band next ; where, 
if it had been about his neck as it should, it had labour well 
saued : but he washt his almond butter so long, that the butter 
was washt away, which hee perceiving, in that woefuU taking 
comes back, and called for more bu — , bu — ^ butter. The 
gentlewoman seeing how things went, rather laught then vext, 
because shee was so simple to trust a foole with matters of 
trust, and bad him get him to the fire and dry him ; and said 
next time she would stay her seruants leisure, (who then were 
abroad) rather then trust to a rotten staflFe. Thus cleane fooles 
light still on beastly bargaines. 

In the towne of Esam, in Worstersh., Jack Miller being 
there borne, was made much of in every place. It hapned that 
the Lord Shandoye's players came to towne and played there ; 
which Jack not a little loved, especially the clowAe, whom he 
would embrace with a joyful spirit, and call him Grumball, 
for so he called himselfe in gentleman's houses, where hee 
would imitate playes, being all himselfe king, gentleman, 
clowne, and all : hauing spoke for one, he would sodainely goe 
in, and againe return for the other ; and, stammering as he 
did, make much mirth : to conclude, he was a right innocent, 
without any villany at all. 

When these players I speake of had done in the towne, they 
went to Partiar, and Jack said he would goe all the world over 




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with Grumbal. It was then a great frost new begun, and the 
hauen was frozen over thinely ; but heere is the wonder, the 
gentleman that kept the Hart, (an inne in tlie towne) whose 
backside looked to the way that led to the riuer-side to Partiar, 
lockt up Jack in a chamber next the hauen, where be might 
see the players passe by ; and they of the towne, loth to lose 
his company, desirued to have it so 3 but hee, I say, seeing 
them goe by, creepes through the window, and said, I come to 
thee, Grumball. The players stood all still to see further. 
He got down very dangerously, and makes no more adoe, but 
venters over the hauen, which is by the long bridge, and, as I 
guess, some forty yards ouer ; yet he made nothing of it, but 
my hart aked when my eares heard the ise crack all the way. 
When hee was come unto me I was amazed, and tooke up a 
brick-bat (which lay there by) and threw it, which no sooner 
fell on the ise, but it burst. Was not this strange, that a 
foole of thirty yeares was borne of that ise which would not 
endure the fall of a brick-bat ? but euery one rated him for the 
deede, telling him of the daunger. He considered his fault, 
add, knowing faults should be punished, he intreated Grumball 
the clowne, who hee so deerely loued, to whip him but with 
rosemary, for that he thought would not smart. But the 
players in jest breecht him till the bloud came, which he tooke 
laughing, for it was Iiis manner euer to weepe in kindnesse, 
and laugh in extreames. That this is true mine eies were 
witnesses, being then by. 

Jack Miller, welcomed to all places, and bard of none, came 
to a gentleman, who being at dinner requested him for mirth 
to make him a play, which he did, and to sing Derries Faire, 
which, was in this manner. First it is to be netted, hee strutted 
hugely, and could neytber pronounce b nor p., and thus he 

As I went to Derries Faire^ there was I ware of a jolly beggety 
Mistris Annis M. Thomas, under a tree mending ofshoone, 
Mistiis Anms Af . Thomas y night braue beggars euery one. 


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And so forward; but the jest was to heare him pronounce 
braue beggars^ and his qualitie was, after hee began his song, 
no laughing could put him out of it. One standing by, noting 
his humour that b and p plagued him, bad him say this after 
bim» which Jack said he would doe : Buy any flawre, pasties, 
pudding pyes, plum pottage, or pes-cods. 1 it was death to 
Jack to doe it; but like a willing foole he fell to it. Buy 
any, buy any fla — , flaw — , p— , p— , p— , pasties, and p — , 
P— » V—f pudding, p— , p— ., p— , pyes, p—, p— , p— , &c. 
And euer as hee hit the on word, hee would pat with his finger 
on the other hand, that more and more it would make a man 
burst with laughing almost to see his action: sometime he 
would be pronouncing one word, while one might goe to the 
doore and come againe. But euer after gentiles would request 
him to speake that, where before, Derryes fayre was all his 

He came not long after (to this I am witness, because my 
eares heard it) to a gentleman's not far from Upton upon Se- 
ueme, in Gloxester-shire, where at the table among many gal* 
lants and gentlewomen, (almost the state of the country) hee 
was to jest and sing : especially they intreated him for his new 
speech of the pees, which he began in such manner to speake 
with driuelliug and stuttering, that they began mightely to 
laugh ; insomuch, that one proper gentlewomen among the 
rest, because shee would not seeme too immodest with laugh- 
ing, for such is the humour of many, that thinke to make 
all, when God knows they marre all : so she, straining 
herself, though inwardly she laughed heartily, gave out such 
an earnest of her modesty, that all the table rung of it. Who 
is that? says one : not I, says another ; but by her cheeks you 
might find guilty Gilbert, where he had hid the brush, lliis 
jest made them laugh more, and the rayther that shee stood 
upon her marriage, and disdained all the gallants there, who 
so heartily laught, that an old gentlewon^an at the table took 
such a conceit at it with laughing, that, had not the foole bin 


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which stood (by f<Mrtune) at her back, and was her supporter^ 
being in a great swonnd, she had fallen to the ground backward. 
But downe they burst the windows for ayre, and there was no 
little boot to bid ront : shee was nine or ten dayes ere she re- 
covered that fit on my knowledge. Thus simple Jack made 
mirth to all, made the wisest laugh^ but to this gathered little 
wit to himselfe. 

This, quoth the World, is mere mirth without mischiefe, and 
I allow of it : folly without faults, is as reddish without salt, 
may passe in digestion one without the other, and doe better, 
where both together engenders but rheume, and mirth does 
well in any. I, sayes Sotto, so way you not the true waight : 
as it is sufferable to be whole, so it is saluable to be hurt, ana 
one to the other giues ayme ; but [to] bee neither is monstrous. 
I would faine morrall of it, if you please. Leave was granted, 
for the World knew it would else be commanded, and Sotto 
thus poynts at the parable. 

By the first merry emblem I reach at stars, how they fire 
themselves in the firmament : whether it bee sitting to neere 
the sunne in the day, or couching to neere the moone in the 
night, I know not ; but the hayre of their happynesse often fals 
ofi^, and shoots from a blazing commet to a falne star, and car- 
ries no more light then is to be seeue in the bottome of Platoe's 
inck-horne ; and, where they should study in private with Dio- 
genes in his cell, they are with Cornelius in his tub. 

By the second, the cleane foples of this world are patterned, 
who so neately stand upon their rufies, and shoeties, that the 
braine is now lodged ii^ the foote ; and thereupon comes it that 
many make their head their foote, and employment is tBfe 
drudge to prodigalitee, made sawcie through the mud of their 
owne minds, where they so often stick fast, that Bankes, his 
horse, with all his strength and cunning, cannot draw them out« 

By the third is figured saucie adventure in folly ; for wisdome • 
puts no forward [er] then warrant, and for pleasure the wisest 
make themselves fooles. 

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To conclude this foolish description of the fourth, many sing 
out their tunes^ and like ideots true borne, confound with folly 
what was created more holy, shutting out trifles that out method 
matter of more waight, where nisetie herselfe will let goe in 
laughter, though she spoyle her marriage. 

The World likte not this well, but bit the lip againe, but 
as rich men suffer wrongs for advantage, took her pennerth's 
together, casts her eye aside, and sees a comely foole indeed 
passing more stately, and, who was this ? forsooth, Wil. Som- 
mers, one not meanly esteemed by the king for his merriment : 
his mellody was of a higher straine, and he lookt as the noone 
broade waking. His description was writ in his fore-head, and 
yee might read it thus : — 

Will, Sommers born in Shropshire, as some say. 
Was brought to Greenwich on a holy day, 
Presented to the king ; which foole disdain'd 
To shake him by the hand, or else asham'd : 
How er'e it was, as ancient people say, 
With much adoe was wonne to it that day. 
Leane he was, hollow eyde, as all report. 
And stoop he did, too ; yet in all the court 
Few men were more belquM then was this foole, 
Whose merry prate kept with the king much rule. 
When he was sad, the king and he would rime : 
Thus Will exiled sadness many a time. 
I could describe him as I did the rest. 
But in my mind I doe not think it best : 
"*" My reason this j how ere I doe descry him, 
So many knew him that I may belye him ; 
Therefore, to please all people, one by one, 
I hold it best to let that paines alone : 
Onely this much, — hee was a poor mans friend. 
And helpt the widdow often in the end. 
The king would euer grant what he would craue. 
For well he knew Will no exacting knave : 




But whisht the king to doe good deeds great store, 
Which caus'd the court to loue him more and more. 

The World was in loue with this merry foole, and said he 
was fit to the time indeede, and therefore deserued to be well 
regarded. Insomuch as shee longed to heare his friscoes mor<- 
ralized, and his gambals set downe. And Sotto as willingly 
goes forward thus. 

Will Sommers, in no little credit in the king's court, walkingr 
in the parke at Greenwich, fell asleepe on the stile that leads 
into the walk, and many that would haue gone that way 
so much loued him, that they were loth to disease him, but 
went another way ; I, the better sort, for now adaies beggars 
are gallants, while gentiles of right blood seeme tame ruffians ; 
but note, the loue Will Sonmiers got. A poore woman, seeing 
him sleepe so dangerously, eyther to fel backward, or to hurt 
his head leanii^lo against a post, fetcht him a cushion and a 
rope ; the one for his head, and the other to bind him to the 
post, from falling backward : and thus hee slept, and the woman 
stood by, attending as the groom of his chamber. It chanced so, 
that upon great occasion, as you shall after heare, WU Sommers 
uncle came out of Shropsliire to seeke him in the court ; a 
plaine old man of threescore yeeres, with a buttoned cap, a 
lockram falling band, course but cleane, a russet coat, a white 
belt of a horse hide, right horse^oUer white leather, a close, 
round breech of russet sheeps wool, with a long stock of white 
kersey, a high shoe with yelow buckles, all white with dust 5 
for that day the good old man had come three and twenty miles 
on foot. This kinde old man, comming up in his countrys 
behalfe, and comming into Greenwitch, asked the way to the 
court : euery one directs him ; but one villaine page directs 
him by the court gate, to crosse in a boat over to Blackwal, 
and told him that was the court. The silly old man willingly 
paid his penny before hand, and was going ouer ; but some 
that ouer-heard their talk, hindered his journey and laughed 


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at the jest, yet pitied his simplicitie, and sets him in the right 
way. When he came in and saw such a place, he was amazed, 
and stood gazing, which the gard and gentlewomen, in their 
windows, had much sport to see. At last one asked him what 
he was ? The old man answeres, A poore Shropshire man ; and 
demands if there were not a gentleman in the court dwelling, 
called by the name of M. Will Sommers ? for the country hear« 
ing him in fauour in the court, said hee was so at least* The 
courtier answered, Here is such a one indeede. For fault of a 
worse, saies hee, I am his uncle ; and wept with joy that hee 
should see him. Marry, sayes the man, He help you to him 
straight ; for, I tell you, not any in the court durst but haue 
sought him, which this man did, and it was told him. Hee 
was walkt into the parke, while the king slept that bote 
day. Thether went they to seeke him. All this while my 
friend Will was in counsel with the post ; and the cushion 
stood as arbitrator betwixte them, and the woman as a 
witnesse what was said and done. At last came these 
.two and wakened him. William, seeing his head soft. What 
soft post is this ? quoth he. A post of mine own making, saies 
the woman. But she lost nothing by her good will ; for ere 
she left Wil Sommers, shee got him to get her sons pardon of 
the king, who was to bee hanged three days after for piracy : 
but by Will Sommers means he deceived the hang-man. This 
and many good deedes he did to diuers. 

The foole, being wakened, lookes about him ; when he had 
thanked the woman, asked what newes ? sayes the man. Sir, 
here is your uncle come out of the country to see you. God a 
mercy cousin ! sayes Will Sommers ; I thank thee for thy 
labour, you cannot uncle me so. Yes, truly, sir, I am your 
own deare uncle, M. William, and with that wept. Are you 
my uncle ? sayes Will. I, sir, sayes hee. Are you my uncle ? 
sayes hee againe. I, sure, and verely too. But are you my 
uncle, indeed ? By my vusse I am, sayes the old man. Then, 
uncle, by my vusse, welcome to court, sayes Will Sommers. 
But what make you heere, uncle ? He ups and tels his com- 


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ming to him. Will takes him by the hand : Come, saies hee, 
thou shalt see Harry, onckle — the onely Harry in Ekigland ; 
so he led him to the chamber of presence, and euer and anon 
cryes out. Aware, roome for me and my uncle ! and knaues bid 
him welcome. You are welcome, sir, said they : the old man 
thought himselfe no earthly man, they honoured him so much. 

But Will, ready to enter the presence, lookes on his uncle, 
and seeing him not fine enough to looke on the king : CJome, 
uncle, sayes hee, we will haue your geere mended ^ leads 
him to his chamber, and attires him in his best fooles coate^ 
simply, God wot, meaning well to him ; and the simple old man 
as simply put it on, cap and all. 

But they come ; and up they came, and to the king they 
goe, who, being with the lord treasurer alone, merry, seeing 
them two^ how Will had got another foole, knew there was 
sport at hand. How now ! sayes the king. What news with 
you ? O, Harry ! sayes he, this is my owne uncle ; bid 
him welcome. Wei, said the king, he is welcome. Harry, 
sayes hee, heare me tell thee a tale, and I will make thee 
rich, and my uncle shall be made rich by thee. 'Will tels 
the king how Terrils Frith was inclosed. Tirrels Frith ! sayes 
the king ; what is that ? Why, the heath where I was borne, 
called by the name of Tirrels Frith : now a gentleman of that 
name takes it all in, and makes people beleeue it is all his, for 
it took the name from liim ; so that, Harry, the poore pine, and 
their cattle are all undone without thy help. And what should 
I doe? sayes the king. Marry, sayes Will, send to the Bishop 
of Hereford ; hee is a great man with Terril : commaund him 
to set the Frith at liberty againe, who is now imprisoned by 
his means. And how shall I be rich by that ? sayes the king. 
The poore will pray for thee, sayes Will ; and thou shalt bee 
rich in heauen, for on earth thou art rich already. All this 
was done, and Wills uncle went home, who, while he lined, for 
that deed was allowed bayly of the common, which place was 
worth twenty pound a yeere. • 


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Howseuer, these three things it came in memoir, and are for 
mirth incerted into stage playes I know not, but that Will 
Sommers asked them of the king, it is certaine : there are 
some will affirme it now living at Greenwich. The king being 
on a time extreame melancholy, and full of passion, all that 
Will could doe will not make him merry. Ah ! sayes hee, this 
must haue, must haue a good showre to dense it ; and with 
that goes behinde^the arras. Harry, saies hee, He goe behind 
the arras, and study three questions, and come againe ; see, 
therefore, you lay aside this melancholy muse, and study to 
answere me. I, quoth th6 king : they will be wise ones, no 
doubt At last out comes William with his wit, as the foole 
of the play does, with an anticke looke to please the beholders. 
Harry, sayes hee, what is it, that the lesser it is, the more it is 
' to be feared ? The king mused at it ; but, to grace the jest 
better, he answered, he knew not. Will answered, it was a 
little bridge ouer a deepe riuer ; at which hee smyled. 

What is the next, William ? sayes the king. Marry, this is 
the next : what is the cleanliest trade in the world ? Marry, 
sayes the^king, I think a comfit-maker, for hee deales with no- 
thing but pure ware, and is attired cleane in white linen when hee 
sels it. No, Harry, sayes [he to] the king ; you are wide. What 
say you, then ? quoth the king. Marry, sayes Will, I say a durt- 
dajiber. Out on it, says the king, that is the foulest, for hee is 
durty up to the elbows. I, sayes W^l ; but then he washes 
him cleane againe, and eats his meate cleanly /enough. I 
promise th%e. Will, saies the king, thou hast a pretty foolish 
wit. I, Harry, saies he, it will serue to make a wiser man 
than you a foole, methinks. At this the king laught, and de- 
maunds the third questioh. Now, tell me, saies Will, if you 
can, what it is that, being borne without life, head, lippe, or 
eye, yet doth runne roaring through the world till it dye. This 
is a wonder, quoth the king, and no question ; I know it not. 
Why, quoth Will, it is a fart. At this theuking laught hartely, 
and was exceeding merry, and bids WilJ( aske any reasinable 





thing, and he would graunt it. Thanks, Harry, saies he ; now 
against I want, I know where to find it, for yet I neede no- 
thing, but one day I shall, for euery man sees his latter end, 
but knows not his beginning. The king understoode iiis mean- 
ing, and so pleasantly departed for that season, and Will laid 
him downe among the spaniels to sleepe. 

Of a time appointed the king dined at Windsor, in the 
chappel yard at Cardinall Wolsey's, at the same time when he 
was building that admirable worke of liis tombe : at whose gate 
stoode a number of poore people, to be serued with alms when 
dinner was done within ; and, as Will passed by, they saluted 
him, taking him for a worthy personage, which pleased him. 

In he comes, and finding the king at dinner, and the cardi- 
nall by attending, to disgrace him that he neuer loued, Harry, 
sayes hee, lend me ten pound. What to doe P saies the king. 
To pay three or foure of the cardinall's creditors, quoth hee, 
to whom my word is past, and they are come now for the 
money. That thou shalt. Will, quoth hee. Creditors of 
mine ? saies the cardinall : Ue give your grace my head if any 
man can justly aske me a penny. No ! saies Will. Lend me 
ten pounds ; if I pay it not where thou owest it, He give thee 
twenty for it. Doe so, saies the king. That I will, my liege, 
saies the cardinall, though I know I owe none. With that he 
lends Will ten pounds. Will goes to the gate, distributes it 
to the poore, and brought the empty bag. There is thy bag 
againe, saies hee : thy creditors are satisfied, and my word out 
of danger. 

Who received? sayes the king; the brewer or the baker? 
Neyther (Harry), saies Will Sommers. But, cardinall, an* 
swere me in one thing : to whom dost thou owe thy soule ? 
To God, quoth hee. To whom thy wealth? To the poore, 
sayes hee. Take thy forfeit (Harry) sayes the foole; open 
confession, open penance : his head is thine, for to the poore 
at the gate I paid his debt, which hee yeelds is due : or if thy 
stony heart will not yeeld it so, saue thy head by denying thy 

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word, and lend it mee : thou knowest I am poore^ and haue 
neyther wealth nor wit, and what thou lendest to the poore 
God will pay thee ten fold ; he is my surety — arrest him — for, 
by my troth, hang mee when I pay thee. The king laught at 
the jest, and so did the cardinall for a shew, but it grieved him 
to jest away ten pound so : yet worse tricks then this Will 
Sommers serued him after, for indeede hee could neuer abide 
bim, and the forfeiture of his head had liked to haue beene 
payed, had hee not poysoned himselfe* 

There was in the time of Will Sommers another artificiall 
foole, or jester, in the court, whose subtiltie heapt up wealth 
by gifts giuen him, for which Will Sommers could neuer abide 
him ; but, indeede, lightly one foole cannot indure the sight of 
another, as Jack Oates, the minstrell, in the fat foole's story, 
and one beggar is woe that another by the doore shoidd goe. 
This jester was a big man, of a great voyce, long black locks, 
and a verry big, round beard. On a time, of purpose, Will 
Sommers watcht to disgrace him, when he was jugling and 
jesting before the king. Will Sommers brings up a messe of 
milke and a manchet : Harry, saies hee, lend me a spoone. 
Foole, saies the jester, use thy hands, helpe hands, for I haue 
no lands, and meant, that saying would warrant his grose feed- 
ing. I, saies Will Sommers, beasts will doe so, and beasts will 
bid others doe as they doe themselves. Will, said the king, 
thou knowest I haue none. True Harry, saies hee, I know 
that, therefore I askt thee ; and I would (but for doing thee 
harmey thou hadst no tongue to grant that foole his next sute ; 
but I must eate my creame some way.. The king, the jester, 
and all gathers about him to see him eate it. Will begins thus 
to rime ouer his milk : 

TkU bUy Harry y 1 giue to thee, and this next bit must sente 

for mecy both which He eate apace; 
This, madamey unto you, and this bit I myself eate now, and 

all the rest upon thy face. 


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Meaning the foole, in whose beard and head the bread and 
milk was thicke sowne, and his eyes abnost put out. Will 
Sommers hee gets him gone for feare. This lusty jester, for- 
getting himself, in fury draws his dagger, and begings to pro- 
test. Nay ; saies the king, are ye so hote ? claps him fast, and, 
though hee draws his dagger here, makes him put it up in an- 
other place. The poore abused jester was jested out of coun- 
tenance, and lay in durance a great while, till Will Sommers 
was faine, after he broke liis head, to giue him a plcdster, to 
get him out againe. But neuer after came my jugler in the 
court more so neere the king, being such a dangerous man to 
draw in the presence of the king. 

Now, Lady World, saies Sotto, you wonder at this first 
jest : do not ; 'tis common, for who so simple that, being gorged 
with broth themselues, will not giue their friends one spoonful, 
especially our kinne. O weell to make them great, make our- 
selues, and pollitikly rise againe by their greatness. But hee 
was simple in that ; for though hee raised many, hee himselfe 
stood at one stay. But the deed is not common, therefore may 
fitly be termed a fooles deed, since the wise meddle not with 
it, unlesse to plunge further in, and winde from povertie. But 
leaue it the greatest «p^wer of all to remedie and reuenge, 
while earthly majestie grows great by adding libertie to their 
aflflictions, q& in our commons of late, God preserue him for it. 

By the second morally signification giues this ; that fooles 
questions reach to mirth, leading wisdome by the hand, as age 
leads children by one finger, and though it holds not &st in 
wisdome, yet it points at it. 

Better so then the wise to put questions to fooles ; for that's 
to put money out of the bag, and leaue the money behinde to 
bad use, while themselues beg with the bag. Such, like Will 
Sommers, sleepe amongst dogs. The third bids us charitably 
learne of simplicitie to pay our debts when the poore creditor 
eals for it ; but 'tis a generall fault, and such who haue doores 
shut, whereat the poore stand, shal find gates fast whereat 


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themselues may not enter ; but especially we of the laity, for 
while the pastor cherishes the soule, we seeke to starve the 
body; but let's be mindful! least decaying one we lose 

O ! the World could not indure this, but offered to fling away. 
Nay, nay, saies the cinnick ; soft and faire — a word or too 
more : and, halfe angry, looking into his glasse, sees one all in 
blew, carrying his neck on the one side, looking sharply, draw- 
ing the leg after him in a strange manner, described in meeter 

Some thing tall, dribling euer, 

Bodie small, merrie neuer. 

Splay footed, visage black. 

Little beard, it was his lack, 

Flat capt still in view, 

The citties charge many knew ; 

Long coated, at his side 

Muckinder and inckhorne tied. 

Preaching still unto boyes, 

Ayming well, but reaching toyes : 

Louing all, hating none, 

Lesse such as let him rot alone ; 

As a liude, so a dyde ; 

Was death's scorne, though life's pride. 

This is singular, indeede, sayes the World : I long to heere 
of this dry, poore John. His name is John, indeede, saies the 
cinnick ; but neither John a nods, nor John a dreames, yet 
either as you take it, for he is simply simple without tricks, 
not sophisticated like your tobacco to tast strong, but as nature 
aloud him he had his talent. Whereat the World so tickled 
her spleene that she was agog, clap[ped] her hands for joy, and 
saies she was deepely satisfied, and cryed more. The crooked 
stick of liqurish that gaue this sweet relish, being to set his teeth 
to it, wipes his rheumy beard, and smites his philosophical nose, 



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snapping his fingers, barber-like after a dry shauing, jogs on 

This innocent ideot, that neuer harmed any, before I enter 
tany furher, I will let you understand in too words, how he 
came to be of the hospital of Cfaristschurch. 

Some certaine yeers since (but not a few yeers) there dwelt 
a poore blinde woman in Bow-lane, in London, called by the 
name of blinde Alice, who had this foole of a child to lead her ; 
in whose house he would sit eyther on the stayres, or in a 
corner, and sing psalms, or preach to himselfe of Peter and 
Paul, because he delighted to goe to sermons with blinde Alice, 
and heard the preacher talk of them. It chanced the Wor- 
shipfuU of the Citty (good benefactours to the poore) to take 
her into Christ's hospital, with whom John went as a guide to 
lead her : who being old^ after shee dyed, hee was to bee 
turned out of doore | but the Citty, more desirous to pitty then 
to be cruell, placed him as a fostred fatherless child, and they 
did wel in it too, seeing hee was one of God's creatures, though 
some difference in persons. Well, to goe forward in what I 
promised you : John went to St Paul's church, in London, to 
meet with B. Nowell, the deane, whose bounty to him was 
great ; and the foole knew it well enough, whom he would duly 
attend after his preaching, for euer at their meeting he gaue 
them a groat, and hee would bring it to his nurse. Well, 
B. Deane preached not that day ; whereupon John stands in a 
corner, with boyes flocking about him, and begins to preach 
himselfe, holding up his muckender for his booke, and reads 
his text. It is written, sales he, in the 3 chapter of Paule to 
the Corinthians. Brethren, you must not sweare (for that was 
lightly all his text) : then thus he begms. — ^Wheras or wfaer.^ 
unto it is written ; for because you must belieue it; for surely 
else we are no Christians. Write the sermon (boy) saies hee 
(as the hospital boyes doe) and then one must write on his 
hand with his finger, and then he would goe forward thus. 
The world is proud, and God is angry if wee do not repent 


by Google 


Good friend giue me a pin, or good friend giue me a poynt, as 
it came in his minde. And so sucking up bis driuell and his 
breath together, would pray and make an end : which being 
done, who bids me home to dinner, now? saies John. The 
boyes that knew his qualities, answeres that do I, John. 
Thank ye, friend, saies he, and goes home to his own dwelling 
at Christ's Church. But, at this time, one wealthy merchant's 
son, to make his father merry, bad him home to dinner indeede, 
and, will bee or nill bee, he must goe with him. With much 
adoe, John went ; and, coming into the house, simply sits him 
downe, as bis use was, in the chimney comer. It was in Lent, 
when pease pottage bare great sway, and when euery pease 
must have his ease. John, beholding pease pottage on the fire, 
thought on his nurse, for he was all sauing for her, and seeing 
nobody by, stept to the pot, and put a great ladle of pottage 
into his pocket, and pittiously burnt his thigh ; and but that 
the leather was thick, it had beene worse. John, feeling some- 
thing bume, lept and cryed : they ran in to see the matter 
why he cryed, but more and more he exclaimed, I bum ! I bum ! 
and got out of doores, and neuer leaues it, til he came to his 
nurse, who quickly shifted him, and mended what was amisse. 
But the jest was to see the folk of the house, who, wondering 
what he ayled, could not deuise what the matter was ; but a 
begger in the entry, who beheld all, told the tmth of the mat- 
ter, who lost a good alms for his labour. But thus simple 
John, by his own folly, died the inside of his pocket pease pot- 
tage tawny, and set a good scarlet red upon his thigh. 

Gaffer Homes, being sexton of Christ^s Church, would often 
set John aworke to toull the bell to prayers or burials, wherin 
he delighted much : it chanced so, that comming through the 
church, and hauing nothing to doe, seeing the bell so easily 
to be come by, towles it. The people, as the custom is, repairs 
to church (as they used) to know for whom it was. John 
answeres them still, for his nurse's chicken. They said, where* 
fore towles the bell, John ? I know not When dyed he ? 



by Google 


Even now. Who, John ? Who, my nurse's chicken, quoth 
bee^ and laughs. This jest was knowne to euery neighbour 
thereabouts, who sent him to bid him leaue touting ; but it 
was not his custome, till Goodman Homes tooke the rope from 
bim that gaue the rope to him. Well, there stood Jack, towl- 
ing, from foure a'clock to sixe, goodman Homes being from 
home, who was not a little vext at John^s dilligence, but laid 
the rope euer afler where John could not reach it. John was 
of this humor : ask him what his coat cost him ? he would^say 
a groat; what his cap, band, or shirt cost? all was a* groat ; 
aske what his beard cost ? and still a groat. So, one Friday 
morning there was a gentleman to ride down into Warwick- 
shire, about payment of an hundred pound upon a bond's for- 
feiture : the time was next day, by sunset; it was no boote to 
bid him pull on his boots and be gone. Well, he made hast 
and went to doe it without bidding ; and yet, for all his haste, 
his bootes were seeme-rent, and must haue a stitch or two 
needes : he sends them to a cobler, next to Christ's Church 
gate in Newgate market, who was diligent to mend them 
straight ; and as he had done, comes John of the hospitall to 
him (as his use was) to carry home his work, and he sends 
John home with the boots. As John was going through luy 
lane, a country fellow that knew him not, meets him, and 
seeing the boots. What shall I giue thee for them ? sales bee. 
John (who sold euery thing for a groat) asked a groat. The fel- 
low, seeing it was a good penniwoith, giues him a groat and de- 
parts with the boots. John, as his use was, gaue it to his nurse. 
She asked him where bee had it ? Hee said for boots ; but she 
not knowing his miude, fell to worke againe as he found her. 

The forfeiture of the bond so hammered in this gentleman's 
head, that he thought euery houre two, till he bad his 
boots, and mused they came not from mending, sends for 
th^m presently. One comes sweating (zoones !) cobler, the 
boots : and being at worke very busie, I, sayes hee, they are 
mended and carryed home. Another comes, boots ! boots ! 


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Would the boots were in your belly, quoth the cobler ; once 
againe, they are gone home. By and by comes the gentleman 
in his white linen boot hose, ready to the purpose. A poxe of 
lazy coblers ! sayes hee ; my boots ! shall I forfeit a bond for 
your pleasure? The cobler puts off his considering cap. Why, 
sir, sayes hee, I sent them home but now. By whom ? sayes 
he. By John, blew John, sayes the cobler. The gentleman 
he runs home one way, the cobler another. Well, no boots 
were to be had. The gentleman hee stayed^ and the cobler 
hee prayed, but all this while the boots belaid and came not. 
The cobler seekes John at his nurse's, where he was, and 
found the boots were sold for a groat. The cobler seeing no 
remedy, because the gentleman was in haste, giues him fiue 
shillings, with a heauy hey ho, towards a new paire, and lost 
foure shillings, eight pence, by the bargaine ; but the cobler 
would neuer let John carry home his ware more. Nay, sayes 
the cobler, if my money can be booted and ride poste so by 
fiue shillings at a time, it is no boot for me to say utinm, but 
the next bootes He make a page of my own age, and carry 
home myselfe, for I see fooles will afford good penniworths. 
On Easter Sunday the ancient custome is that all the children 
of the hospitall goe before my Lord Maior to the Spittle, that 
the world may witnesse the works of God and man, in main- 
tennance of so many poore people, the better to stir up lining 
men^s minds .to the same good. Before which the children of 
the hospitall, like a captaine, goes John ; whom, to behold the 
people flock apace, and the weather being hot, their thrusting 
made John extreme dry. John considered he was like to fast 
while dinner, yet kept on his rank to the spittle, where the 
Cannes did walke apace by his nose, but neuer came at him, 
which made him more eager of drinck. Well, while the chil- 
dren were placing, John stood making of water, and seeing a 
gentleman^s doore open, slips in, and the houshold without^ 
standing to see my Lord Maior passe by, regarded him [not] ; 
but hee whose nose had wit to smell good beere, got downe into 


by Google 


the seller, and fell to it tipple square, till be was lost and quite 
drunck, and lay'd himselfe to sleepe behinde two barrels, and 
unseene slept all that day. In the sermon time he was mist, 
sought, and not found. The afternoone came ; the gentleman^s 
butler and other good fellowes fell to carouse soundly, till the 
butler was layd up too : heere was a seller well fraught with 
fooles ; but all this while the beadles fayled not to search up 
and downe the citie : the cryer cryed a man child, of the age 
of two and thirtie yeeres, for at least hee was so old. But 
returne we to the seller. The two drunkards waked both to- 
gether. John cals nurse 1 nurse ! which the butler (halfe awake) 
hearing, thought the diuell had bin playing bo peep with him ; 
but when he looked and beheld him, imagining how it was, he 
secretly sent him to the hospital!, least hee were blamed for his 
negligence in looking to the doore no better. 

A number of things more John did, which I omit, fearing to 
be tedious. Not long after he dyed, and was old — for his 
beard was full of white haires, as his picture in Christ's Hos- 
pital (now to be seene) can witnesse : buryed he is, but with 
no epitaph. Mee thinks, those that in his life time could afford 
him his picture, might with his graue yeeld him so much as 
foure lynes, that people may see where he lyes, whom they so 
well knew : and if I might persuade, his motto should be to 
this effect : 

Here sleeps blew John, that giues 
Food to feede wormes, and yet not liues. 
You that passe by, looke on his graue. 
And say yourselues the like must haue. 
Wise men and fooles all one end makes : 
Gods will be done, who giues and takes. 

Surely, says Mistress Nicetie, this pleases well to see one 
so naturally silly to be simply subtill ; it is strange ; but I 
heare it, and, like a tale out of a poore man's mouth, hardly 
credit it. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


This foole, says Sotto, signifies many who come to chmr^h 
to meete acquaintance, more than for piety, and will sooner sell 
the church for mony, then pawne ought to underprop it. At 
these the boyes and children of this world wonder, while manly 
age sees and will not see. For these, as the second tale sales, 
folly towles the bell, and a number longs to heare it ring out, 
when the losse of Johns chicken is of more want then theirs ; 
but, a rope out of it, it will one day be better. Ther are, as 
Hamlet saies, things cald whips in store. 

The third jest of John shews morrally many things; amongst 
which, things, I meane workes, are so cobbled that, to rid it 
with quicknesse, John may beare it up and downe to the owner, 
while workmanship and time is merely abused — - but it boots 
not to meddle in this, least some say, ne sutra, &c. But let 
me tel ye this, by the way, World : there are knaues in thy 
seames, that must be ript out. I, sayes the World ; and such, 
I feare, was your father. O ! no, sayes the critticke, he was 
the silly gentleman that staid while the foole brought home 
his boots, and so forfeited his bond, that his good conditions 
lay at gage for it. Marry, yes, saies the World ; and was after 
canseld at the gaUows : for such as her lies in wait to cosin 
simplycitie, and for a groat buy that which, well got, deserues 
a portague. At this the cinnick fretted : and heere they begin 
to challenge the combat ; but a parly sounded, summoned them 
to the last tale with John to the cellar in the spittell ; where, 
if they please, they may carouse freely, though they die deepe 
in scarlet, as many doe, till they loose themselues in the open 
streets. Such Diogenes sought atnoone day with a lanthome 
and a candell. Well, the World so buffeted the cinnicke at his 
owne weapon, that he playes with her, as weake fencers that 
carries flesh up and downe for others to dresse. Such was the 
cinnicke, onskilfull in gulps and worldly flaunts, rather to play 
with short rods, and giue venies till all smarte againe ; not in 
the braines, as the World did, but in the buttocks, as such doe, 
hauing their joses displaid, making them expert till they cry it 
up in the top of question. 


by Google 


Our sullen cinnicke sets by his glasse in malice, knits a betill 
brow till the roome grew darke againe, which the wanton World 
seeing, flings out of his cell, like a girle at barley brake, 
leauing the last couple in hell, away she gads, and neuer lookes 
behinde her, A whirlewinde, sayes the cinnicke, goe after I — ^is 
this all my thanks ? — the old payment still ! — will the World 
still reward mortality thus ? — is vertue thus bedridden ?-— can 
she not helpe herselfe ? and lookes up to heauen, as hee should 
say, some power assist ! But there he sat, fretting in his owne 
grease, and, for ought I know, nobody came to help him. 


Thus, gentlemen, as the kinde hostess salutes her guests, 
saying. You see your cheere, and you are welcome — so say I. 
It may bee you like it not. I am sorrier, you will say, these 
sallets were ill drest. Like enough ; but good stomachs digest 
anything, and that it was a dry feast. The cinnicke bad [not] 
the World so much as drinck : — ^true, a worldling right, who, 
as the word is drinck before you goe, sets the cart before the 
horse, and sayes, goe before you drink, why may he not in his 
cell P — his betters will. I haue scene it in the gentlemens 
cellers — but I cry you mercy ; there, I think, it is, drinck till 
you cannot goe. Bownce is the worlds motto there, till they 
discharge the braine of all good abearing, making the body 
breake the peace in euery corner : but blame me not, I am 
tedious ; pardon my folly— writing of folly ; if you knew, you 
would say hie mirum. Wherefore, if my pardon may be pur- 
chased, then so ; if not, you may bid me keepe any fooles 



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Page 1, line 5. Shdtorwn plena ntnt omnia,] Armio's motto reminds 
us of that assumed by La Society de la M^re Folle de Dijon — Numerus 
Stultorum infinitus est. See Du Tilliot " Memoires pour servir a THis- 
toire de la Fete des Foux."— W. J. T. 

Page 3, line 11. May beautifie our GLOBE in every line.] An allu- 
sion to the Globe Theatre, at which Armin was an actor. 

Page 3^ line 23. While they of Al-soules gave atfme.] " To giue aim" 
and *' to cry aim'* seem to have been synonymous of old, and were figura- 
tive phrases derived from archery, generally meaning to consent to, " To 
cry aim" occurs in " King John," act ii., sc. 1 (Collier's edit, vol. iv., p. 24), 
and elsewhere in Shakespeare. It may also be pointed out in the works of 
nearly all the popular writers of the same date. For a few instances, see 
Dodsley's Old Plays, last edit., vol. ii., p. 279. 

Page 4, line 4. [ goe in motly.] Motley was the term applied to the 
parti-coloured dress of jesters or clowns; such as that worn by Touchstone 
ID '' As you like it," the domestic fool in '' All's well that ends well," &c. 

Page 4, line 9. Not with your good skene head me.] A skene, or skean, 
was a species of knife or short sword used by the Irish ; and called, in their 
language, sgian or skian, probably from the Icelandic akeina, to wound. 

Page 5, line 7. She now begins to grow bucksome as a lightning before 
death.] The old meaning of " buxom" is obedient. In " Henry V.," 
act iii , sc. 6, Pistol talks of '* buxom valour," meaning valour that was 
controllable, and under good command ; but it does not seem very clear 
in what way Armin means to apply the word. 

Page 6, line 19. No, nor to the Country, where seldom seene.] This 
and the five preceding lines are printed as prose in the original ; perhaps 
for the purpose of saving room. 


by Google _ 

68 NOTES. 

Page &, line 23. One that was wise enough and fond enough.] The 
most common sense of '' fond^" of old^ was foolish ; and hence we may per- 
haps infer that our ancestors thought it foolish to be fond. 

Page 5, line 20. And sold all for a glass prospective.] i. e. Such a glass 
as conjurors were in the habit of using. 

Page 6, line 6. That is sharp sauce with bitter dyet.] For sauce, the 
original has lance, an obvious misprint. 

Page 6, line 18. For as they (f) all for the most part.] Ay was almost 
invariably printed with a capital / at the period when this tract was pub- 

Page 7, line 23. Enowne to many^ loude of any.] i. e. probably " aUou>*d 
of any,*' beoause he relied upon truth in his jests. It may, however, be a 
misprint for '* loud as any." 

Page T, line 31. In motley cotes goes Jack Oates.] Jack Oates is a new 
name in the list of English Fools or Jesters, and obviously belongs to that 
class of the General Domestic Fool which the late Mr. Douce, in his Dis- 
sertation on the Clowns and Fods of Shakespeare, describes as being 
** silly by nature, yet cunning and sarcastical." — W. J. T. 
. Page 7> Hne 36. If it were possible such breaihde hers to oonmaunde.] 
The meaning seems to be, that the World inquires, if it were possible that 
such persons as Jack Oates breathed hers to command, or at her com* 

Page 8, line 8. Queene Richard, art come? quoth he.] *' Queen Dick*' 
b still an expression among the lower orders. How it came into use it is 
aot, perhaps, possible to explain. 

Page 9, line 18. At Christmas time, when great logs furnish the hall fire.] 

When icicles hang by the wall 

And Dick, the shepherd, blows his nail. 
And Tom bears logs into the hall. &c. 

" As you like it." Act v., sc. 2. 

Page 9, line 22. A noyse of minstrels and a Lincohishire bagpipe was 
provided.] A noise of minstrels meant of old a company of minstrels : thus, 
in Henry IV., Part 2, Act ii., sc. 4 (Collier's edit, iv., 379), we hear of 
** Sneak's noise," which the drawer was told to procure for the entertain- 
ment of Falstaff. In the first part of the same play, Shakespeare does not 
speak very favourably of '* the drone of a Lincohishire bagpipe ;" but, 
from various authorities, it appears that it was an instrument then in much 
request From what follows, in Armin, we learn the part of the family for 
which it was provided. 

Page 13, line 29. Tliey knockt to the dresser, and the dinner went up.] 


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NOTES. 59 

The outtom for the cook to knock on the dresser, when the dinner was ready 
to he placed upon table, is mentioned by many old writers. See Middleton's 
*' Blurt Master Constable," Act ii., sc. 1 ; upon which the Rev. A. Dyce, in 
his edition of that dramatist's Works i., 247) makes the following note : — 
" When dinner was ready, the cook used to knock on the dresser with his 
knife, as a signal for the servants to carry it into the hall." He adds 
a correction of an important error on the subject made by Reed and 

Page 14, line 26. The knight and the rest all laught a good.] i. e. laughed 
in good earnest. The expression was common, and suflScient instances of 
its use may be seen in a note on Marlowe's " Rich Jew of Malta," in Dods- 
ley's Old Plays, last edit viii., p. 280. The words occur again on p. 21 and 
32 of this tract. 

Page 15, line 10. The knight perceiving the fooles envie,'\ i. e. the 
fool's hatred : " envy" was then constantly used with this meaning. 

Page 15, line 25. They carde hence what their parents spin.] There is 
a play here upon the word card, as applied to the domestic operations of 
carding and spinning and gaming : " they card hence what their parents 
spin," means they wantonly disperse what their parents had industriously 

Page 16, line 3. The deuouring of deuoutions dyet.] We suspect some 
misprint here : possibly we ought to read " another's diet," the compositor 
having carried on the first part of the word '^ deuouring" to the next word 
but one. 

Page 16, line 18. Two yards in compasse & a nayle I reade.] It may be 
doubtful whether we are to take " I read" literally, and that Arm in had 
read this description of the uncouth dwarf, James Camber, in some work of 
the time ; or whether we are to understand " I read" only in that sense in 
which'our older authors sometimes employ / rede, i. e. I advise or inform. 
Probably, from what follows, the former was the case. 

Page 16, line 22. But what that time Jemy a Camber was.} llie cus- 
tom of keeping a fool appears to have prevailed in the Scotch as generally 
as in any other of the European courts, and it may be presumed was retained 
for a long time among the nobility ; since, among the curiosities shown at 
Glammis Castle, was, within these few years, the dress worn by the do- 
mestic fool belonging to the family. Among the Scotch wearers of Motley, 
the name of John Lowe, the king of Scotland's fool, holds a prominent 
pAace; while Archee and Muckle John figure among the professed jesters 
of the English court. The late Mr. Octavius Gilchrist published an inte- 
resting account of Archibald Armstrong, and his jests, in the London Ma- 
gazine for Sept. 1824.— W. J. T. 


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60 NOTES. 

Page 17« line 31 Wbo hearing the ordinance goe uff, would aske what 
doe they now J] Jemmy Camber would ask ; not the king, the last ante- 
cedent. Sufficient hag been seen to show us that we must not be ? ery cri- 
ticaU either as to Armin's grammar or style of composition. 

Page \8, line 3. That of a maide had a bame.] A word still used in the 
north for a' child. 

Page 18, line 12. A sodaine flaw or gust rose.] This passage forms a 
brief but decisive explanation of the line in ** Hamlet," Act v., sc.l. 

" Should patch a wall to expel the winter's >Iaar," 

and other passages in Shakespeare, where the word " flaw" occurs. A 
*' flaw" is a gust of wind. Boswell informs us that Dryden uses it generally 
for a storm, but such is not the case in the quotation he makes to support 
his position. 

Page 18, line 35. For no way could T hane been a looser.} There is 
probably some misprint in the original copy in this sentence ; for, as it 
stand% it is not intelligible. 

Page 19, tine 18. Wearing a loose kerchiefe, hanging downe backward.] 
This is curiouii, shewing that women of bad character at that time wore 
some peculiar kind of dress by which they were known. They are now 
recognised by other indications, quite as decisiye. 

Page 19, line 23. Giue me an Atchison.] ** The meaning of the term 
( Atchison,' as applied to coins," writes Mr. Laing, of Edinburgh, *' is thus 
explained. Thomas Atcheson was assay-master of the Mint at Edinburgh 
during the minority of James VI., and also during the reign of Mary. 
His name was given in derision to base metal coins which then were in cir- 
culation, and which, as Bishop Nicolson mentions (Scottish Hist. Library, 
p. S26, 8vo edit.), were in the year 1587 ' cryed down by Proclamation, 
because counterfeit in England and other foreign parts.' Nicolson, how- 
ever, at p. 34, confounds this Atcheson with an Englishman, who wrote a 
treatise on the Gold Mines in Scotland, which was printed some years ago 
for the Bannatyne Club ; and Gough, correcting the Bishop's error, only 
commits a greater mistake." 

Page 20, line 25. He did so, but the glove lay still.] In running at the 
glove, it was placed upon the ground, and the art was for a horseman, at 
sp^ed, to take it up on the point of his lance. Running at the ring was 
difierdni^ for there the object to be carried away was suspended. Expla* 
nations may bft^found in Strutt's " Sports and Pastimes." 

Page 21, line 2^;^ J^my, wbo was, as you bane heard, a tall low man.] 
Tliis reads like a conttacfietipn in terms ; but " tall," in the time of our author, 


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NOTES. 61 

did not usually mean lofty of stature, but courageous and bold. Shake- 
speare so uses it with reference to Sir Andrew A^uecheek in ** Twelfth 
Night," act i., sc. 3 (Collier's edit. iii. 330), " He's as tall a man as any's 
in Illyria." Instances of the same kind in other authors of the time are 

Page 22, line 14. The Earle of Morton's castle at da Ketk.] No doubt 
misprinted for Dalkeith, 

Page 25, line 8. Jemy rose, made him ready.] To make ready meant of 
old merely to dress, and to be ready was to be dressed. It was the com- 
monest form of expression. 

Page 25, line 25. He thsii gard all men till jeare.] i.e. He that made all 
men to jest. Mr. HoUoway, in his Gen. Diet, of Provincialisms, derives the 
verb to gar, i. e. to compel or make, from the Danish gior. Spenser em- 
ploys it in his '' Shepherd's Calendar" for April : — 

''Tell me, good Hobbinol, what gars thee greet ;" 

and it is still in use in the north of England as well as in Scotland. 

Page 25, line 34. Through the sense of sinne.] Perhaps we ought to read, 
'* through the seas of sin.*' It seems an error of the press in the original. 

Page 27, line 27. When 'a peard most holy.] i. e. When he appeared most 
holy. Shakespeare repeatedly makes his characters in familiar dialogue use 
*^ 'a'* for he. Few of his contemporaries adopt this practice so frequently. 

Page 28, line 17- But thus with supposes he plays alone.] Shakespeare 
uses the word *' supposes" for suppositions in " The Taming of the Shrew," 
and in '' Titus Andronicus." Gascoyne had done so before him throughout 
his translation of the Suppositi of Ariosto. 

Page 28, line 25. Such a hurly-burly in the rooroe, that passes.] i. e. that 
passes, or surpasses, belief. The expression was common. 

Page 28, line 3. Found all this levell coyle.] Perhaps we ought to read, 
''found all this lewd or wicked coil or confusion." 

Page 29, line 29. In the country, quoth hee, where God is a good man.] 
This expression is put into Dogberry's mouth in '* Much Ado About 
Nothing," act iii., sc. 5; and it is also found in the interlude of " Lusty 
Juventus," in the *' Merry Jest of Robin Hood," and in Burton's "Anatomy 
of Melancholy." 

Page 30, line 7. And got the foole's head under his arme and bob'd his 
nose.] The plough-jogger was an early adept in boxing, and got T^eonard's 
head, as we now express it, " in Chancery." The expression is the more 
applicable since the appointment of Ftce-cbauncellor.«, so called, perhaps, 
from the tenacity with which they hold suitors who are unlucky enough to 
get into any of their courts. 


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62 NOTES. 

Page 30, line 35. Who, ioothing up his humoww.] The original, by a 
misprint, has ''who iometking up his humours." 

Page 31, line 19. Then to vere at his losses sodainely.] There is probably 
an error in the press in this passage : perhaps we might read '' than to 
vexe at his losses suddenly." 

Page 32, line 13. Aloud he cries Dmee ! Dmee! Dmee!] Most likely an 
abbreviation of '' Dear me" I ^ ^ ^ ./ ■ 

Page 36, line 21. His song of Dirriet Farie.] Part of this song is given 
afterwards. See p. 38. 

Page 36, line 23. Like the poter of the ale-fat.] i. e. like the poker of the 
ale-vat, in consequence of the ** barm" or yeast upon his face to take out 
the fire. 

Page 37, line 24. In the towne of Esam.] i. e. Evesham. 

Page 37, line 36, They went to Partiar.] i. e. Pershore. 

Page 38, line 6. They of the towne, loth to lose bis company desirued 
to haue it so.] Sic in the old copy, but probably we ought to read desired 
for " desirued." 

Page 38, line 13. My hart aked, &c.] This shews that Armin, the author, 
was one of the players on this occasion, and perhaps the performer of the 
clown's parts in the company. 

Page 38, line 24. To weepeiii kindnesse, and laugh in extremes.] "Ex- 
tremes" is here used in the sense in which Shakespeare not unfrequently 
employs it. See '' Winters Tale," act iv., sc. 3 ; " Troilus and Cressida," 
act iv., sc. 2 ; " Romeo and Juliet," act iv., sc. 1,, &c. 

Page 38, line 34. Mistris Annis, M. Thomas, under a tree mending of 
shoone.] The joke seems to be that the fool, at the commencement of each 
line, inserted some of the names of the parties before whom he was singing : 
the song by itself ran thus : — 

"As 1 went to Derries Faire 
There was I ware of a jolly hegger. 
Under a tree mending of shoone, 
Night-braue beggars euery one J* 

According to the license in the rhyming of old ballads, " begger," or " beg- 
gare," as it would be spelt, would be suCBcient rhyme for " Faire." We 
have no other trace of this song ; but as Armin does not insert it, and adds, 
" And so forward," we may presume that it was well known. ; 

Page 39, line 5. Buy any flawre.] Sic in orig., but perhaps a misprint 
for some word beginning with the letters p, in the pronunciation of which 
Jack Miller was " plagued." Possibly we ought to read prawnes* 

Page 39, line 10. And euer as he hit the on word.] It may be doubted 


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NOTES. 63 

whether we ought to read '' the one word/' or to suppose ** on the " trans- 
posed in the printing. 

Page 40, line 3. There was bo little hoot to bid ront] Some inisprint has 
obscured the sense here. Ought we to read '' There was no little boot to 

Page 40, line 31. That Bankes, his horse, with all his strength cannot 
draw them out.] One of the innumerable allusions to a person of the name 
of Bankes, who had trained a small horse to perform many wonderful feats. 
There is hardly a comic writer between 1590 and 1620 who does not intro- 
duce some notice of Bankes and his horse Marocco. A supposed dialogue 
between them, called Maroccus Extaticus, was printed in 1595, from which 
we learn the important fact that the horse was bay. After exhibiting him 
throughout this kingdom, Bankes took his horse abroad, where it seems to 
have been suspected that the animal was a fiend in disguise, and Bankes a 
conjuror. We learn the fate of both in the mock-romance of " Don Zara 
del Fogo," not printed until 1656, but written much earlier. " Finally," 
(says the unknown author), having of a long time proved himselfe the orna- 
ment of the British clime, travailing to Rome with his master, they were 
both burned by commandment of the pope." Marginal note to page 114. 
Bankes's horse is immortalised by Shakespeare in " Love's Labour's Lost," 
act i., sc. 2. 

Page 41, line 9. Forsooth Wil. Sommers.] This well-known Jester of 
Henry VIII. is made, as it were, the hero of T. Nash's " Summers Last 
Will and Testament," a comic shew, written about 1593, and printed in 
1600. An accurate reprint of it is given in " Dodsley's Old Plays," last 
edit., vol. ix. "A pleasant History of the Life and Death of Will Sum- 
mers" was printed early, but no edition of it now seems to be known, but 
one in 1676, which was reprinted in 1794, with a portrait of Summers 
looking through a casement. We copy the following jest relating to 
him from Samuel Rowland's tract, called " Grood and Bad Newes," 
1622, 4to. 

'* Will Sommers once unto King Harry came. 
And in a serious shew himselfe did frame 
To goe to London, taking of his leaue. 
Stay, William (quoth the king) I doe perceiue 
You are in haste ; but tell me your occasion : 
Let me prevail thus by a friends perswasion. — 
Quoth he, if thuu wilt know, lie tell thee marry : 
I goe to London for Court-newes, old Harry. — 
Goest thither from the Court to hear Court-newes ? 
This is a tricke, Sommers, that makes me muse. 


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64 NOTES. 

Oh> yes (quoth William) citizens can show 
Whats done in Court ere thou aud I doe know, 
.If an Embassador be comming over. 
Before he doe arrive and land at Dover 
They know his master's message and intent. 
Ere thou canst tell the cause why he is sent. 
If of a Parliament they doe but beare. 
They know what lawes shall be enacted there. 
And, therefore, for a while, adue Whitehall. 
Harry, He bring thee newes home, lyes and all." 

We quote the above from the original very rare volume in the library of 
the Rt. Hon. Lord Francis Egerton, M.P. ; but a very excellent reprint of 
it has been recently made by Edward V. Uttersou, Esq., consisting, how- 
ever, of only sixteen copies. Thus, each of these is scarcely less a prize 
than the original. We may add that Will Sommers figures conspicuously 
in S. Rowley's " When you see roe you know me," a historical play, on the 
events of the reign of Henry VIH., printed in 1605. 

Page 41, line 20. Leane he was, hollow-eyde, as all report.] This descrip- 
tion of Will Sommers's person accords very well with the rare print of him 
by Delaram, de«cr1bed by Granger in bis " Biographical History of England" 
(i. p. 116, ed. 1779), and also with the portrait of him in the frontispiece to 
. the first volume of Sir Henry Ellis's " Original Letters illustrative of English 
History," which is taken from Henry the Eight's Psalter, preserved among 
the Royal MSS. in the British Museum. It does not, however, by any means 
correspond with the admirable picture by Holbein of a merry knave look- 
ing through a leaded casement, described in the Guide to the Pictures at 
Hampton Court, as one of Henry the Eight's jesters, but traditionally said 
to be a portrait of Will Sommers. A fine copy of this portrait, we under- 
stand, is preserved at Audley End, the seat of the Right Honourable Lord 
Braybrooke.— W. J. T. 

Page 42, line 8. Will Sommers, in no little credit at the King's Court] 
Our author speaks this with truth, since, notwithstanding Henry's well- 
known fondness for these motley followers. Will is almost the only one of 
them whose memory has survived. Patch and Sexton are named in Henry's 
Household Book ; and Mr. Douce, who supposes Patch to be only another 
name for Fool, states that he was given to Henry by Wolsey. Will Sommers, 
in all probability, owes his reputation rather to the uniform kindness 
with which he used his influence over bhiflf Harry, than to hb wit or folly ; 
and one of the lates^t instances of this conduct is so honourable to the poor 


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NOTES. 65 

jester^ that it is only justice to his memory to repeat it as told by 
Granger >— 

Will Sommers was sometimes a servant in the family of Richard Farmer, 
Esq., of Eston Weston, in Northamptonshire, ancestor to the Earl of Pom- 
fret. This gentleman was found guilty of a profmunire in the reign of 
Henry VIII., for sending eigbtpeuce and a couple of shirts to a priest oon- 
▼icted of denying the king's supremacy, who was then a prisoner in the 
goal at Buckingham. The rapacious monarch seized whatever he was 
possessed of, and reduced him to a state of miserable dependence. Will 
Sommers, touched with compassion for his unhappy master, is said to have 
dropped some expressions, in the king's last illness^ which reached the con* 
science of the merciless prince, ftnd to have caused the remains of his estate, 
which had been dismembered, to be restored to him.— W. J. T. 

Page 43, line 34. By my vusse.] So in the original, but the meaning of 
the asseveration it is not easy to comprehend : possibly " By my ©oir».*' 

Page 45, line 1. And are for mirth inserted into stage-playes.] Referring 
to such dramatic pieces as *' When you see me you know me," by Rowley, 
before-mentioned. i 

Page 45, line 3. There are some will affirme it now living at Greenwich.} tK X 
We have no account of the precise period of the death ofW iU Sommers, ( mil ^ 
but it might not have happened more than fifty or sixty years before Armin 
wrote ; and people who recollected Sommers said his pranks might still be 
living in Greenwich and elsewhere. 

Page 46, line 9. That remarkable work of his tombe.] P. Martyr, in his 
Comment in lib, Samuelii (2nd Samuel, cap. 18) relates a remarkable an* 
ecdpte, which may here be very properly introduced. It appears that the 
Cardinal was in the habit of frequently visiting his tomb at Windsor to 
watch the progress of the work. On one of these occasions be was accom* 
panied by bis fool, or jester, who, seeing him enter the monument, said, 
Tou do well to go into your tomb during your lifetime, fot you #iU never 
enter it when dead. 

This was probably the same fool who, congratulating the Cardinal upon 
receiving that dignity, expressed a wish that be might soon see him Pc^e. 
Why so ? inquired the Cardinal. Marry replied he, St. Peter, who was a 
fisherman, instituted fasts that fish might fetch a better price, and, since 
your eminence was bred a buto/her, yon would, no doubt> order us to eat 
meat, instead of fish, for the sake of your trade. 

The readers of ''Cavendish's Life of Woolsey" will remember the 
Cardinal's requesting Norris to present the King with this poor fool> and 
the almost pathetic manner in which he describes the fool's unwiUingness 
to be separated from his old master.— W. J. T. 



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66 NOTES. 

Page 47«line 9. Had bee Dot poysoned himselfe.] The notioo, founded 
upoD a passage in Cavendish's '' Life of Wolsey/' that the Cardinal poi- 
soned hinself, has been controverted with success, by Pegge. See Gen- 
tlemen's Magazine, vol. xxv., p. 25. 

Page 48, line 16. O wed to make them great, make ourselves.} There 
is probably an error of the press in this passage, which renders the sense 
obscure. Tne whole paragraph is not very intelligible. 

Page 49, line 22. Lesse such as let him not alone.] i. e., " UnUu 
such," &c. 

Page 49^ Une 23. As a liude> so a dyde.] t. e. As he liv'd so he died. 
See p. 27, and the note : this is another instance of the same kind. 

Page 49, Une 27- But neither John a nods, nor John a dreames.] ** Jota 
a-dreams'* is mentioned in Hamlet. 

** A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak. 
Like John a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause." 

The commentators introduce notes about Jack-a-Lent, Jack-a-Lanthem, 
and John-a-Droynes ; but they were unacquainted with this passage in 
Armin's tract about ** John a nods and John a dreames," both names, per* 
haps, meant for the same person. 

Page 49, line 29. Like your tobacco to tost strong.] The original by an 
obvious misprint has '' to fast strong." 

Page 50, line L Snapping his fingers barber-like.] The snapping, or, as 
it is sometimes spelt, knacking, of their fingers by barbers is noticed by 
many old writers. '* Amongst the rest let not the barber be forgotten ; 
and look that he be an excellent fellow, and one that can tnap his fingers 
with dexterity." '* Greenes Tu Quoque" in Dodsley's Old Plays, last 
edit, vol. vii., p. 31. See also Ben Jonson*s ''Epicoene," act i., sc. 2. 
Lily, in his " Midas," 1592, introduces a barber, who says to his appren* 
tice, ''Thou knowest, boy, I haue taught thee the knacking of the 

Page 50, line 21. To meet with B. Nowell.] Dean Nowell of course all 
are acquainted with, but it is questionable why Armin places a capital B. be- 
fore his name, as he never was a bishop, and his Christian name was Alex- 
ander. Afterwards Armin calls him " B. Deane." 

Page 60, line 23. He gaue them a groat.] We ought to read him for 

Page 54, line 18. As his picture in Christ's Hospital (now to be seene) 
can witnesse.] This picture of a dome^itic fool was in existence some years 
ago, but nobody was able to state whom it represented. Armin's tract will 


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NOTES. 67 

enable those who, we presume, now have charge of the portrait to decide 
the question. 

Page 55, line 8. There are, as Hamlet saies, things cald whips in store.] 
No such passage is to be found in Shakespeare's Hamlet, as it has come 
down to us, either in the editions of 1603, 1604, or in any later impression. 
Possibly Armin may refer to the old Hamlet which preceded Shakespeare's 
tragedy ; but this seems unlikely, as he was an actor in the same theatre 
as that for which Shakespeare wrote. 

Page 55, line 14 Least some say ne sutra,] Of course a misprint for 
ne tutor. Armin did not add the rest of the proverb, because it was so 
well known. 

Page 55, line 22. Which, well got, deserues a partague^ Probably a 
Portuguese gold coin. 

Page 55, line 33.] And giue Venies till all smarte againe.] Fenie, or, as 
it is sometimes spelt, Venu or Fenny, was a very common fencing term, 
meanmg the onset, from the French Fenir. See '* Loves Labours Lost," 
vol ii., p. 347« Collier's Shakespeare, where the word, as in most instances 
of its use, is figurauvely employed. 

Page 56, line 3. Like a girle at barley brake, leaning the last couple iu 
hell.] Barrley-break seems to have been a game much resembling what is 
now called Prisoner's Base, or Prisoner's Bars. '* Leaving the last couple 
in hell" was a phrase in it, and the allusions to it, in old writers, are 



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